Barcelona-based, Argentine-born, Nathy Peluso has released her debut album Calambre and it’s quite the vulnerable-meets-sensual-with-a-slice-of-fierce record. Here’s the rundown:
On the heady, bass-pounding “Sana Sana,” Peluso uses her knife-sharp wordplay to take a stab at economic disparity in style — with the music video, directed by Nicotine, embellishing the grandiose elegance of her flow in Cavalli, Prada, and Jean Paul Gaultier.
“Buenos Aires,” a sleek R&B throwback built for a midnight drive, soaking-up the kind of paradoxical solitude that only exists when you’re trapped in the city. Peluso nods to her early enthrallment with Notorious BIG, Snoop Dogg, and 50 Cent with the nostalgic beat of “Business Woman,” a track that flips the script on the typically hyper-masculine aspects of hip-hop and builds itself into a ferocious anthem female empowerment.
“La hechicera del mambo,” Peluso refers to herself as near the end of the track, punctuating her point and announcing her strength: “Soy voluminosa latina letal y sugerente, soy nena peligrosa.”
“Delito” and “Trío” dive into Peluso’s infatuations with 90s R&B staples like Missy Elliott and Beyoncé, with both tracks sporting slow-burning, concussive beats entangled in piercing heartache and desire.
“Sugga” leans into the spacious-pop of a sublime wind and horn backing (arranged and performed by Prince collaborator Michael B. Nelson); while “Puro Veneno,” recorded with a full salsa band in Puerto Rico during the pandemic with Peluso in Spain, is a gorgeous salsa gorda number that overflowing with her obsession over Ray Barretto and Willie Colón. Or the jarring-juxtaposition of tango bolero and grating hip-hop cuts of “Agarrate,” just one of the many moments Peluso reveals a profound ability at interlacing multiple genres into her songs. Like the “electric shock-cramp” that is described in her album’s title, Peluso’s orchestration of her art — both as an artist and entertainer — is one that illuminates with a passionate ferocity.
Calambre not only highlights the faithful ways in which Peluso has crafted an ode to the sounds and rhythms that have influenced her, but also of the profound ways she’s woven that tapestry into something uniquely her own. It’s an assertion of Peluso’s voice and identity; of her limitless talents and potential.
Covering a wide breadth in her lightning quick switches in characters, accents, languages, and genres, there’s a deep theatricality that’s unveiled on Calambre that points to Peluso’s delicate hand for storytelling. And all the while, Peluso continues to exude throughout a raw vulnerability, a sensuality and sexuality that defies conformity to the male gaze.
“My career is entertainment, not just music,” says Nathy of the fearlessness that drives the overarching concept for the album, including the Grace Jones-inspired album cover. “I’m the one who takes the plug and causes the shock – of passion, happiness, whatever it is, I want to stir people’s guts without them being able to contain themselves.”