Camila Moreno is an oddball with a penchant for making truly absurd music videos. Her music is brutally honest, hyper-emotional, frequently politically driven.
The vulnerability of Moreno’s music is exemplified in her track “Te quise (I wanted you).” The quietly haunting solo piano supports her frayed vocals, leaving the listener teetering alone on a viscerally thin tight rope. The accompanying video is endearing if thoroughly creepy and a fitting introduction to her kind of honest and unapologetic songwriting and performance. She isn’t perfect, she's kinda weird, and she’s not afraid to let the whole world know.
Te quise entero te quise con todo y tu frialdad / Sabias no estaba pensando en que me podría afectar
I wanted you I wanted all of you and your frailty / You knew I wasn’t thinking about how it would affect me
Then there are moments, like in Latin Grammy nominated “Millones” when we are wrapped in the warmth of rich acoustic guitar and some well-placed harmonica. Her vocals remain imperfect and raw but the driving rhythms of the guitar paired with traditional Andean drums and shakers gives a sense of urgency to the pointed lyrics. The song calls out the hypocrisy and greed of the pharmaceutical industry. Its success in Latin America speaks to a culture that’s more open to blatantly political music than US culture.
In her latest release “Libres y estupidos (Free and stupid)” off her forthcoming album Mala Madre (Bad Mother) Moreno makes a departure from her more traditional folk roots, venturing into some electric guitar and strong kick drums but maintaining her dedication to making music with a political message. The bridge throws us back into the quiet vocals of her past work, only to then hit us again with pulsing electric guitar. While it is a new sound for the artist, it’s apparent that she’s still staying true to herself and this honest evolution of sound is a welcome change from the deluge of artists who often stagnate by their third album.
Keep an eye out for Mala Madre set to drop soon.