Song of the day – 381: Colombina Parra
I have to love being Everett True sometimes.
It means that, out of the blue, you’re linked to stuff like this.
“Beautiful new song from a Chilean rock diva turned folk solo artist (or something like that),” writes my correspondent Andrés Panes late last night as I’m waiting to see if Daniel is going to lead us into another sleepless night. So I have my headphones on, idly listening to some Jackie Brown soundtrack music. So I figure I’ll take a listen.
Whoa. I don’t want to use the word extraordinary. I don’t want to use the word magical. Both seem overblown in this context: I’m immediately attracted to the delicate touch, the intimacy in Colombina’s voice. Just a playful acoustic guitar, and a memorable tune. Quietened, as there’s no need to shout. Almost childish in its merriment. Reminds me of Eliza Doolittle a little – a very little. Reminds me of Astrud Gilberto a little – a very little. The musical form is entirely different in both cases. I ain’t quite sure what the musical form is actually, not being as up on Chilean folk music as perhaps I ought to be on this sounding. Perhaps there’s an entire world out there, this buoyant and fun and wonderfully expressed, waiting to be discovered. If so, I’d sure appreciate someone tipping me off about it.
“Lovely, natural, beautiful, carefree,” writes one of my dear friends from the UK on Colombina Parra’s Grooveshark page. Damn straight. Please go and have a listen. It really is something quite extraordinary and magical from Santiago, Chile.
And the whole album, Flores Como Gatos (“flowers and cats”), is just as wonderful.
“Dear Everett,” Andrés writes.
First of all, sorry for my English, but… Chilean Education Protests
I don’t know of any updated Colombina Parra’s bio in your language, so here’s my attempt:
She’s been active in the Chilean rock scene since the early 90’s
She’s singer-songwriter Violeta Parra’s niece (If you don’t know who Violeta Parra is, please look up for her)
She’s the daughter of anti-poet Nicanor Parra (a fuckin’ genious who deserves the literature Nobel prize right now)
Colombina Parra’s breakthrough came in 1996 with the band Los Ex (named after the fact that all of its members were previously in other bands) and their album “Caída Libre” (“Free Fallin'”). At that time, and given the typical Chilean cultural delay, they were influenced by grunge and the Riot Grrrl movement and their music went on to become very famous in Chile and Peru thanks to MTV Latin America.
Almost ten years after that, in 2007, Los Ex returned with a second album (“Cocodrila”) and in 2008 they released a third called “Pistola de Plástico” (“Plastic Gun”).
‘Flores como gatos’ (‘Flowers like cats’), the song you heard, comes in the brand new solo debut album by Colombina Parra, which is also named “Flores como gatos”. This album was composed and recorded during a time when Colombina was pregnant and living in the Chilean coast (beautiful place, man!). Her lyrics deal with topics such as maternity, family, fragility and femininity in a way that sound really really honest.
I don’t know what else can I say. If you have some question, please let me know.
Here’s what she used to sound like.