Lila Downs ‘Balas y Chocolate’

Lila Downs.jpg

Hello again readers! After three or so months of traversing the mountains, deserts, rain forests and cities of Latin America, I find myself back on frost-bitten, slippery British soil… and somehow it is still good to be back!

In homage to my Latino adventure, my first post of the year features Lila Downs, the spirited Mexican-American singer-songwriter whose most recent 2015 album, ‘Balas y Chocolate’ explores the rituals of the famous Mexican day of remembrance, el día de los muertos (The Day of the Dead). The album dances its way through rambunctiously rhythmic tracks, such as ‘Balas y Chocolate’ and ‘Son de Difuntos,’ as well as impassioned ballads such as ‘La Promesa’ that reveal the rich strength of Downs’ voice.

With instrumentation as zealous and theatrical as that of Pink Martini, the album is an enlightening expression of the life and love that is intrinsic to this oft-misunderstood aspect of Mexican cultural identity. It offers us a musical Mexican landscape that is as sensual, vibrant and proud as its author.

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