Albums, Music, The Revue — December 3, 2018 at 4:05 am

Loyal Lobos – ‘The Fall’ (EP review)

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More than two years, Andrea Silva introduced herself to the world with her stripped-back folk-rock approach. At the time, Silva performed alone and under her own name, which is understandable as she had barely set roots in Los Angeles. She, however, eventually found a backing band, who helped her evolve as an artist. Within a year, her music has become more widescreen. Her sonic progression wasn’t the only change, as Silva assumed the name Loyal Lobos, which is a fitting name given she has been a lone wolf in a new country and in a cut-throat industry. In late November, the young Bogotà-born singer-songwriter released her debut, five-track EP, The Fall. It is in a one word – stunning.

The record possesses the intimacy and beauty of a Julien Baker’s and Phoebe Bridgers’ work, yet it is even more cinematic. Opener “Dirt” offers a hint of Silva’s talent and what is to come. The track commences gracefully, akin to the alt-folk tunes of the Laurel Canyon era. It gradually intensifies before building into an awe-inspiring moment that is simply breathless. It’s like seeing the most stunning piece of art and being paralyzed by its beauty for several minutes. The chest-swelling melodies, Silva’s gorgeous vocals, and her lyrics about hiding from fear and trying to move beyond it are transfixing.

On “Burn”, Silva increases the drama with a beautifully brooding number that is reminiscent of Eliza Shaddad’s gripping numbers. The lingering guitar mixed with the stuttering rhythms create a haunting soundscape, which provides the ideal canvas for Silva’s ode to herself and her family. The, however, is not a tribute. Instead, Silva describes the joys and the pains of her childhood and her subsequent move to California. It is Silva quietly unveiling her heart for all to see and hear.

The lush “Swim” sees Silva helping a friend arise from the ocean of tears that has overwhelmed her. Its melancholic beginning beautifully delivered, but the finale is the show-stopper. Booming drums, a crystalline guitar, and Silva’s angelic voice cascade into a waterfall of majestic sound. It is a rush of gorgeously epic proportions and one that won’t be easily replicated. The steady progression in “Wrong”, however, comes close. Initially, the track comes across as a straightforward, melodic dream-folk ballad, but it erupts into a moment of ecstasy. The dual guitars are tantalizing rich, and the percussion and bass possess a smokey, jazz quality. Th piano, though, is a clever addition, giving “Wrong” more depth and accentuating the feelings of wonderment and anxiety that Silva sings through her lushly hushed vocals. As she says:

“I can’t wait ’til the sun goes down,
So I can find a place to slow down.
I can’t wait to start walking here
I want to lay down,
Will you lay down with me?”

The EP comes to a close with the song that started it all. Originally, “the fall” featured just Silva’s delicate vocals and her acoustic guitar. Now, it is turned into a euphoric folk-rock number that sounds like a Ryan Adams production. The song explodes with the desperation of a young woman seeking to establish roots in a new place, and she seeks something familiar everywhere she turns.

“You’re my father, you’re my brother.
You’re my lover and my enemy,
But the moon is dressed like a storm tonight,
And I don’t know what it’s going to be.”

Although an uncertainty lingers in what Silva has to say, she has the talent to the star that many look upon for inspiration and guidance. She is traveling down a path filled with obstacles and teeming with other aspiring musicians. Silva, however, has accomplished more than most in chasing her dreams in a foreign land, and in the process she has stolen our hearts and made us fall for her.

Pick up The Fall on Bandcamp.

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