NYC-based pop auteur Angélica Garcia’s signing to Partisan Records is announced today with the premiere of two entwined tracks, “Y Grito” + “El Que” as a double video, directed by *UNCANNY (BROCKHAMPTON, Danger Mouse, Black Thought) and filmed in London.
The neon-colored Latin punk of “Y Grito” gives way to the slow-building hurricane of electronic pop that is the dazzling “El Que” as Angélica arrives at her clearest and most complete vision of self. Produced by Chicano Batman’s Carlos Arévalo, the songs mark Angélica’s first sung entirely in Spanish, her native language, the one in which she learned to sing rancheras with her family as a child. It’s clear Angélica has discovered and tapped into a fresh pop perspective, creating music that is searing and borderless, free of cultural confinement and challenging the notion that singing in English is a prerequisite for creating American music.
The twin tracks offer battle-hardened mirror images of the same difficult and at times terrifying work of healing, with Angélica summoning reinforcements from another realm with the intensity of an exorcism. In fact, Angélica’s vocal performance took such an emotional and spiritual toll that she couldn’t sing for two days after recording. These themes are reflected in the visuals for the singles, too, wherein “Y Grito” represents a battle of the physical while “El Que” represents a battle of the mind. Both singles are connected in spirit.
Angélica originally released “Y Grito” in late 2022 – a gritty, defiant reintroduction that launches fuzzed-out Latin rhythms head-on into fluorescent-colored garage punk. Translating in English to “And I Scream,” Angélica describes the song as being “about the adrenaline of karmic pursuit. It’s about how decisions we make in the present moment can be a harsh reflection of who we are.” “Y Grito” was featured in Apple’s 2022 Keynote earlier this year and in an Apple TV commercial. “El Que” on the other hand immerses its listener into a quaking rhythmic lurch of grief processing with visceral intensity.
“If you’re going to heal yourself and change, then you have to go through your opponent— which is often a shadow side of yourself,” says Angélica.
She continues, “Grito’ is a verb, so I wanted “Y Grito” to feel like action. That’s why there’s such a presence of drums and voices belting. “El Que” is also a specific inner monologue that I have navigated most of my life. Keeping myself and my body safe as a woman is such a careful dance that I often play out in my head, like a lion tamer facing a lion. The vocals were done in one take, and the performance required so much of my energy I couldn’t sing for two days afterwards. The chorus gets its power from all the backing voices coming in to support me from another realm, and it’s where I name the danger. When you’re exorcizing a demon, you have to call it by its name.”
Now living in New York, Angélica was raised by her Mexican and El Salvadoran family in El Monte, California; east of LA where she lived for most of her life. Already she’s earned praise from the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, a debut at NPR’s Tiny Desk, space on Barack Obama’s annual best-of-the-year roundup with her cross-cultural anthem “Jícama” along with syncs at Apple, HBO, tour dates with Mitski, Vagabon and beyond. Stay tuned for more to come from Angélica later this year.
“El Que” Single Artwork | Photo Credit: Carlos Garcia
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