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A new album out this month from Silvana Estrada is one to watch for 2022

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

With the new year comes new music to look forward to. Felix Contreras of NPR Music Alt.Latino has an album you should check out.

FELIX CONTRERAS, BYLINE: One of the artists that came across my radar last year was Silvana Estrada, a singer-songwriter from the Mexican state of Veracruz. And she has a new album coming on January 21 called "Marchita," and it's probably going to be one of my top albums at the end of the year.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TRISTEZA")

SILVANA ESTRADA: (Singing in Spanish).

CONTRERAS: This is the track "Tristeza." And to fully appreciate what she accomplishes on this album, you have to know a little geography and history. Veracruz is on the Gulf Coast, and it is the one part of Mexico that has any African influence. The folk music that comes from there is called son jarocho, and it is very syncopated and played on stringed instruments - small guitar-like instruments and harps - a mix of Africa and Europe.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TRISTEZA")

ESTRADA: (Singing in Spanish).

CONTRERAS: And throughout her record, she disassembles that tradition and uses bits and pieces of it behind her soft falsetto as she explores the most intimate emotions about the two subjects that are a part of just about all Mexican music - love and loss.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "UN DIA CUALQUIERA")

ESTRADA: (Singing in Spanish).

CONTRERAS: On the track "Un Dia Cualquiera," she uses just the pulse of the intricate dance steps that accompany traditional son jarocho.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "UN DIA CUALQUIERA")

ESTRADA: (Singing in Spanish).

CONTRERAS: To my ears, it's a brilliant display of musical vision by an artist who's just getting started.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MARCHITA")

ESTRADA: (Vocalizing).

MARTINEZ: That's Felix Contreras, the host of Alt.Latino here at NPR Music. The album he recommends for the new year is "Marchita" by Silvana Estrada.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MARCHITA")

ESTRADA: (Vocalizing). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.
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