Former lead singer for machine pop trio Selebrities, Maria Usbeck, sets out on her own for the first time. Her solo album Amparo (co-produced by Caroline Polachek) will come at the end of May, and the influences are quite personal. Brooklyn-based, Quito-born Usbeck sings “Moai Y Yo” in her native Spanish, backed by the gentle lapping of water, sparse percussion and the eventual layering of her vocals into a moving, chanting chorus. The organic nature of this track—thanks to acoustic instruments and field recordings—is a stark contrast to the ’80s styled electronic music Usbeck was previously making and the way she’s tucked in snippets of lesser-known languages (Catalan, Quichua, Rapa Nui, Bribri) into “Moai Y Yo” for texture and emotion reminds us of how producers sample songs and beats.
Maria Usbeck: Moai Y Yo