Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Natalia Lafourcade – Hasta La Raíz

Five years on, we still kinda like her…


Jonathan Bogart: Mexico’s reigning queen of indie-pop (pace Venegas) returns from her sojourn in midcentury bolero reverie having learned a thing or two from Agustín Lara’s economy of melody and form. Her voice will never be anything but girlish, but her songwriting isn’t beholden to twee; and her refusal to settle for easy uplift makes her something special in global indie-pop.

Juana Giaimo: I could never fully enjoy Natalia Lafourcade’s twee style on Hu Hu Hu, and while she kept part of it in “Hasta La Raíz” — her innocent voice will always characterize her — she is now stronger, trying to reach that moment in which a breakup doesn’t hurt and becomes only memories of a happy time that couldn’t last forever.

Alfred Soto: Difficult to parse at first, thanks to Lafourcade’s banging against those staccato strums. Then the arrangement opens; that string section and her keening suggest a loonier stab at one of Beck’s Morning Phase‘s ponderosities.

Mo Kim: The translated lyrics suggest the speaker is traveling inwards: memories becoming jungles to wander through, old flames appearing in the sand and the sky. Natalia Lafourcade’s voice has the quality of mist slipping between the guitar and strings; but I can’t help but feel that she could reach more interesting places if the thump of the percussion didn’t lock everything around it into such rigidly-defined rhythms.

Iain Mew: With the glumly staid guitar and rhythm she’s set up, she doesn’t give herself the best foundation to build any appeal on. She can do it, though, and it’s the lilt and lift of her voice that gives it just enough magic to get by as much as it’s the eventual fantasy strings.

Brad Shoup: Upon extended listening, it sounds like a standard time signature made unbalanced by stringing arpeggio across the choppy, muted strum. Lafourcade’s meter is closer to her guitar’s: it searches, it navigates. The whole band forms the flying V behind her. The result is something more moving than howling against some upfront timpanis.

Anthony Easton: The lalalalala sounds are perfect, and the guitars are lush in the best way.

Katherine St Asaph: Gently buoyant, like a lot of Lisa Hannigan’s work; I don’t often find myself lately in need of this wholesome prettiness, but it’s nice knowing the breeze is there to catch.

Scott Mildenhall: Modestly expansive, Lafourcade only gradually builds the yearn in her voice across a landscape that seems to stretch as she traverses it. In other words, the video should have her wandering across a big, lush field with no-one around, looking into the unplaceable distance. No smiling, but no looking sad either.

Reader average: [7.5] (6 votes)

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2 Responses to “Natalia Lafourcade – Hasta La Raíz”

  1. Second-highest score of the year so far! Huzzah!

    (Wavered between [6] and [7] up to the last minute.)

  2. She’s never grabbed me the way Julieta does but with this I think I finally get it. Really lovely blurbs.