From the shores of Guam to the pavement of Brooklyn, Rosa Bordallo has traveled a great distance to realize her dream of finding a medium to express herself. At the age of nineteen, she moved to New York to originally attend film school but, like so many others before her, got immersed into the city’s diverse music scene. All it took was a response to a classified ad, where a band was seeking a backup singer and guitar player. Next thing you know, she was fronting Brooklyn indie-rock band Cholo, and together they recorded four albums.
While still very much involved with Cholo (their latest album, Belinda, was released less than two weeks ago), Bordallo wanted to branch out. In 2012, she released her debut album, The Sea Urchin, under which she went by the moniker Manett. The stage name is a tribute to her grandfather, Manuel, which sounds like “Manett” in Chamarro.
Her first, solo album gathered the sounds of her experiences in New York and her Chamarro upbringing, which is the result of the melding together of the man different ethnicities and cultures that have come to Guam, including American, Spanish, Filipino, Mexican, Polynesian, etc. And today, she is building on her first album and releasing a three-song EP called Stigma-Style.
The EP begins with the lo-fi, indie rocker “A New View”, which through Bordallo’s intricate guitar work is surprisingly moving and a stunning tune. “The Birds (for Paulo)” brings you to Guam (or what I think could be Guam) with the tweeting of birds and the sound of waves before transitioning to synths and an electric drum. It’s an experimental, spacey track that would make Bjork proud.
“Treehouse“, recollecting either her childhood or a first love, is a mid-tempo, vibrant tune. It recalls some of the brilliant lo- and mid-fi, indie music coming out of Brooklyn, such as by Amen Dunes.
Stigma-Style officially comes out Saturday, March 28, but the three tracks can be heard below. In addition, the album can be pre-ordered on Bandcamp, where you can get a limited edition cassette.
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