Earlier this year, Y La Bamba played a quiet little gig at Muddy Waters that left those of us in attendance head over heels in love with what we heard. Now, six long months later, we can finally show folks what all the hype was about. On Lupon, the Portland-based collective put leading lady Luzelena Mendoza front and center, making for an album that’s brimming with sultry deliveries and seriously affecting lyricism. On “Abducted,” Mendoza and her cohorts turn things up a notch, creating a crunching little drum-and-guitar number that growls, then cries its sad story. Later, “Winter’s Skin” mimics the feel of a Parisian street, replete with well-placed group sings, waltzy breakdowns, and accordion flourishes. Still, Lupon’s strong suit lies in its subtlest moments. On each turn, these songs reveal themselves anew, giving fans that giddy sense they’ve discovered something special, listen after glorious listen.


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