Mon Laferte: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.
It's fair to say Mon Laferte is a musical chameleon. The Chilean vocalist's output of late has covered a vast swath of musical styles from Latin America, from big-band mambo to electronic dance club jams with a hint of reggaeton, and a few stops in between. The secret to the successes of these stylistic changes is the level of imagination and creativity she infuses in each turn.
So, it didn't surprise me that her contribution to our Tiny Desk (home) concert series is a visual treat as much as it is a musical one. The opening strains of "Tu Falta de Querer" introduce a cabaret-styled small orchestra and a character who appears to be left at the altar of a small intimate colonial church. She's in torch-singer mode throughout the four-song performance; take these lyrics from the first cut: "Ahora domiré / Muy profundamente para olvidar / Quisiera hasta la muerte, para no pensar / Me forro pa' quitarme esta amarguara" ("Now I'll sleep very deeply to forget I would like, until death, not to think. I erase you to take away this bitterness")
The 10-piece small orchestra is a combination of Mexican folkloric music and European chamber music, mixing the ukulele-like jarana, an oboe, a tuba, and the violins often used in mariachi. The arrangements are the perfect vehicle for Laferte's impassioned combination of blues and ranchera vocals.
There is much to appreciate in Laferte's celebration of the spiritual (the church setting) and the passions of everyday life (her torch singing). In fact, I can't think of many other vocalists who would be able to pull this off with as much grace, style and artistic vision as Mon Laferte does.
TINY DESK TEAM
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