Last year, the pop singer Natalia Lafourcade did the unexpected: In a moment of nostalgia, she reached out to jam with Los Macorinos, a duo of guitarists in their 80s who once played with the late, iconic ranchera singer Chavela Vargas. They recorded themselves just for fun, but what came out of that jam session was Musas, a striking, stripped-down collection of traditional Latin American folk covers and originals that went on to earn a 2018 Grammy nomination and four 2017 Latin Grammy nominations, winning for Best Folk Album and Best Long Form Music Video.
Luckily, there was enough material from those sessions for a follow-up album, Musas, Vol. II, slated for release February 9th.
“Danza de Gardenias” (“Dance of the Gardenias”), the album’s lead track, co-written by Lafourcade and Mexican composer David Aguilar, again features the Los Macorinos, alongside a host of other guest musicians. It’s rich in poetic prose and metaphors and yet the final magic comes with the pristine timbre of Lafourcade’s contralto vocals and occasional dips into a lower register that are at once emotive and gently captivating.
“Hoy ese tuyo llanto se convierte río de tus ojos santos y una flor marchita reflorecerá”
“Today your weeping becomes like a river from your saintly eyes and a wilted flower will bloom anew”
“Danza de Gardenias”’ is about learning to reflorecer, to bloom again. “It is an offering of gratitude to a cycle of love,” says Lafourcade. “It’s a grand celebration of a moment and a stage of one’s life that was shared with a loved one who you want to thank. It contains elements of freedom, joy and detachment. It’s gratitude for the bravery of love.”
Let the blooming begin.