Thursday 28 March 2019

New Music: Rosalía - Con Altura

Rosalía’s El Mar Querer didn't make it into my Top 10 Albums of 2018 list, but if I wrote that list again now it would have done. It's been a bit of a slow burner for me,

Already a huge star in some parts of the world, here in the UK, after two records, she very much still a rising artist. I could imagine her pushing her trolley around your local supermarket and nobody recognising her. In fact, even though I listen to a lot of music, it wasn’t until a holiday in Rosalía’s home country of Spain last summer that I came across her songs.

El Mar Querer is a mind-blowing long-player mixing traditional flamenco with R&B pop and exciting synthetic beats. If that sounds like an awful idea, it isn’t. Rosalía pulls it off 100% with her incredibly expressive and beautiful voice and some exciting ultra-modern production. It shows that pop can still do something unusual and exciting even if as a genre it has reached middle age.

Since the album she has also cropped up on James Blake’s rather good fourth record Assume Form on the song Barefoot In The Park (one of the highlights of Assume Form) and has been teasing the fact that she has collaborated with Billy Eilish. This summer Rosalía heads to the UK and besides a show in London at Somerset House will be hitting Glastonbury Festival. For anyone moaning that The Killers are an uninspiring choice of headliner, may I suggest you take inspiration in Rosalía instead. Glastonbury is about way more than 10pm Saturday Night on the Pyramid stage.

Today Rosalía released a new track and it’s a bit of a surprise. In the same way her debut album was a big stylistic jump to her second, now she’s releasing a reggaeton tune called Con Altura with another collaborator J Balvin. Apparently Rosalía listened to quite a lot of reggaeton when she was younger and so for her this is a natural progression. Even if like me you only know a little Spanish (living fast is mentioned in the lyrics so I’m guessing the song is something about that) it doesn’t really matter – the hook will grab you anyway. And being Rosalía the video, like all of her work, is a lot of fun, taking some more traditional dancing and bringing it fully up to date.

Check out the video below and if you haven’t done so, treat yourself to a listen of El Mar Querer - one of the best pop records of 2018.

Rosalía - Con Altura

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