Maria Usbeck - “Moai Y Yo”

Photo credit: Holland Brown
Maria Usbeck, former lead singer of the band Selebrities, dropped “Moai Y Yo” via The FADER last night, which then immediately had us wondering: Who Is She. Born in Ecuador and currently based in New York, the singer/producer is now promoting an upcoming solo record which promises serene pop born out of an existential crises from losing touch with her mother tongue. Usbeck later took it on herself to reconnect with her language and culture, all of which has aided her in building a more meaningful musical identity. One that is waiting to be unveiled in her album Amparo.

“Moai Y Yo” rises at sun salutation only to be carried off by gentle harmonies. The arrangements are simple but extremely rich. The singer pulls in harps and other ornate sounds that often recall Ramona Lisa (Chairlift's Caroline Polachek, who is actually listed as co-producer), an influence that becomes more pronounced through the Rapa Nui chants chained to the vocal patterns. Usbeck stretches the tonal canvas to its absolute limit. Reaching its conclusion it is hard not to feel elated both from the music and the impression of the discovery (“Te busqué, te encontré”). Maria Usbeck, welcome to the club.

Amparo is out May 27 via Cascine / Labrador