Introducing: Y La Bamba’s “Rios Sueltos”

The premiere of a new music video, plus an essay about it by frontperson Luz Elena Mendoza.

There have been so many changes that inspired growth, new feelings to explore and express.

I have been recently spending long periods of time in Mexico between tours. It’s been calling me in profound ways, somewhat like tug a war through out my entire life, pulling me in many directions but leading me down this path that leads me to all of you. What I have been experiencing will take some time to articulate — falling in love con la tierra de mi sangre, face-to-face with my ancestors, leaning closer with my history, bathing in the blood that has restored strength within me.

Since relocating to Guadalajara, I had the opportunity to play two amazing shows with Roberto from Helado Negro in Mexico, and shortly after, I gathered a group of beautiful people to make a the music video for “Rios Sueltos.” It was important for me to make the video in Mexico, not only because I wrote the song there, but also because it’s something that’s been calling me to share my thoughts through sound.

The collaboration that we held those days in making the video was one of the most important times of my life. I have been falling in love with the community and together we’ve been able to meet and dance. The intention behind the video is to celebrate these roots that have been feeding my soul. The journey of being in the motherland has been profound as I continue to search throughout the soil that my parents, family, and ancestors have walked on. 

In the video there are several performances that were done by the beautiful people in Guadalajara. All helped to support our shared vision to celebrate our culture, our blood, our roots. We pieced together several installations to shine the light on the corn, nopal, the birds, fauna, fertility, and the prayer of peace. The mariachi suit has been something I’ve always wanted to wear, but growing up I felt I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. It’s a symbol of being embraced by my culture. I am now taking back what is so close to my heart and growth. I grew up listening, singing along to Lucha Villa, Lola Beltrán, Selena, Rocío Dulcál, Juan Gabriel and Las Jillguerillas who all have played a huge role in my life in how I express, and feel reality. 

— Luz Elena Mendoza

Y La Bamba’s new 10″ Entre Los Dos will be released September 20 via Tender Loving Empire. In the meantime, you can catch them on tour this summer (and fall!):

8/10: Los Angeles, CA — KCRW Summer Nights
8/11: Tijuana, MX — Moustache Bar
8/12: Tucson, AZ — Hotel Congress
8/14: San Antonio, TX — Paper Tiger
8/15: Houston, TX — Satellite Bar
8/16: Dallas, TX — Ruins
8/18: Denver, CO — Larimer Lounge
8/22: Boise, ID — Botanical Garden Summer Escape
8/24: Pomona, CA — The Glass House (Viva Pomona)
8/30: Seattle, WA — Bumbershoot
8/31: Minneapolis, MN — Icehouse
9/1: Wisconsin Dells, WI — Los Dells Festival
9/7: Vigo, SPA — Sinsal
9/11: Zurich, SWI — Bogen F
9/12: Oviedo, SPA — La Lata de Zinc
9/13: Madrid, SPA — Guacamayo
9/14: Braga, POR — Theatro Circo
9/19: Málaga, SPA — Centro Cultural
9/20: Sta Cruz Tenerife, SPA — Festival Boreal
9/21 :Barcelona, SPA — BAM Festival
9/23: Castellón, SPA — SONS
9/28: Donosti, SPA — Festival Dabadaba
10/4: Reno, NV — Offbeat Music Festival
10/24: Portland, OR — Doug Fir
10/25: Portland, OR — Doug Fir

(Photo Credit: Nadev Benjamin)

How far does our sentimental strength go? When do we turn to the other without any resistance? What is the breaking point? By showing emotional connections we become vulnerable. Existing together, we cannot conceive without the other. “I am another you” is a Mayan thought that blurs the limits of personal bonds, extending individuality to any being that we choose to look in the eyes, allowing us to find something shared in each others stare.

Entre Los Dos is the follow up to critically acclaimed Mujeres (NPR, Pitchfork, Billboard), Y La Bamba‘s most recently released full-length album (February 2019). This EP comes as a collection of portraits, affinities, and new visions birthed during Luz Elena Mendoza‘s frequent stays in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico. These are songs and powerful prayers, created with their purpose being to protect the land and its people, recognize the ancestry that burns in our hearts, and treasure wisdom weaving healthy bonds that reflect self-love with dignity.

Through the veins of front person Mendoza, runs Purepecha blood. Adapting to new environments over and over again, she has become someone who constantly questions and empowers through music: her great teacher and tireless companion.

The creative flow of Entre Los Dos moves without stopping, without resisting its own form. It adapts, migrates, and fuses with its environment and receptors. The adrenaline of a new beginning moves us, but also leaves a fragile space where the fear of being cornered and devoured may exist. When you float in foreign waters, you can not do more than surrender to doubt and become one with the death. The world is dangerous, and even more so when it comes to surrendering blindly to love.

(Photo Credit: Nadev Benjamin)