By Monica Rubalcava
Mexico City, May 28 (EFE).- Mexican recording artist Natalia Lafourcade’s latest studio album continues her explorations of folk music while taking her listeners on a multi-sensory journey, immersing them in the tastes and smells, the landscapes and, above all, the sounds of her homeland.
Titled “Un canto por Mexico, vol. 2” (A Song for Mexico, Volume 2), it is the second part of a project that was created “in community” and whose first installment took home this year’s Grammy Award for Best Regional Mexican Music Album.
“The record takes you to the countryside, to the mountains, to the beach, to any Mexican landscape. It allows you to get the smell of the country, its mole, tamales, tequila and agave,” the 37-year-old pop-rock and folk singer said in an interview with Efe.
“It has the song of the community, of joy, suffering, life, death, love, indifference, protest, the song of women, the Weeping Women, our mysticism and culture. That’s a big statement, but I’m not lying,” she added.
“Un canto por Mexico, vol. 2” is the product of a giant collaboration, according to Lafourcade, who said she worked with more than 50 musicians on this second part of an album that both revisits regional Mexican “son jarocho” folk songs from her native state of Veracruz and re-imagines songs from her own catalogue.
This latest release is the continuation of an album that was based on a November 2019 concert and launched to raise funds for the Son Jarocho Documentation Center, a cultural building in Veracruz that was damaged by the 2017 Puebla earthquake.
Lafourcade said Friday’s launch of the record, recorded amid the trials and tribulations of the pandemic, has signified an enormous release of energy and filled her with the need to return to the studio.
“I’m open to the universe. I have a series of songs lined up that I hope to record soon. They’re very intimate and personal. I really need to return to myself after this project, which is so outward, has so much orchestra, so many people. I’d like to reverse that and go inward. And I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know how it will be to go inside,” the recording artist said.
This latest album includes the participation of artists such as Carlos Rivera, Silvana Estrada, Ely Guerra, Los Cojolites, Jorge Drexler, Mare Advertencia and Mon Laferte.
“I think it was wonderful to be artistically involved with so many universes. They were all artists I knew, I love and I admire, although there were some that I never imagined working with like Ruben Blades and Caetano Veloso,” Lafourcade said.
Also taking part in the album were Pepe Aguilar and Aida Cuevas, a pair of artists whom Lafourcade calls “living legends of Mexican music,” a title she is not ready to bestow upon herself.
“Legends are only built over time,” she said.
Even so, it is undeniable that over a series of works dating back to 2012 – her tribute to late Mexican singer-songwriter Agustin Lara on “Mujer Divina,” her incorporation of elements of huapango music on “Hasta la Raiz,” her celebration of legends of Latin American music on “Musas” and “Musas, Vol. 2” and her work on “Un canto por Mexico, vol. 1” and “Un canto por Mexico, vol. 2” – she is establishing herself as a faithful defender and representative of traditional Latin American folk music even while transforming those genres to appeal to the sensibilities of a modern audience. EFE