by Amanda DK

I’ll admit it, often when I present you with a track that is neat, I’m really recommending the entire album.  So while I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy Lupon, the sophomore release from Portland’s Y La Bamba, it just didn’t grab me the way “Juniper” did.  As in “Juniper,” the best parts of the album were when the trimmings were simple – the combination of haunting lead vocalist Luz Elena, and a romantic acoustic guitar would have been enough to lure me in.

And that’s exactly what “Juniper” does.  Like Sarah Jessica Parker in Hocus Pocus, the gentle melody draws you in, and before you know it – you’re caught.  It’s so mellow and repetitive, tension builds and builds just waiting for something to happen.  The swaying rhythm combined with Elena’s rich voice, full of restrained emotion can only be described as lovely.  Or in the words of Buzz Bands LA:

“Y La Bamba makes fractured folk that sounds as if it comes from dog-eared diaries. The author is statuesque Luz Elena, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, whose vintage vocals seem to come from the 78-rpm era.”

Y La Bamba “Juniper”

This September 2010 release may be old news now, but Lupon is still a delightful listen.  Buy it here in the Tender Loving Empire store.