On Cinema, the stellar debut album of Los Angeles-based vintage crooners The Marías, it is the distinctive ebb and flow of emotion between the band’s central duo/couple (María Zardoya and Josh Conway) that makes their mix of Latin pop, psychedelic-soul, and jazz leanings that much more enthralling. It’s what powers the dynamo of delicious sensuality, glamorous romance, and ferocious individuality that keeps alight the smokey-velvet rooms and bedrooms from which their intimate songs seem to radiate and whisper. With Zardoya under the limelight cooing passion and Conway toiling away on drums and multiple instruments — and both producing the entire album themselves from their L.A. apartment — Cinema radiates with the adoration of their love for one another.
Between Zardoya’s piercing lilt and Conway’s heady-droning, often bathed in his buzzing electronics, and their song’s windingly ardent melodies — there is an abundance of moments to fall in love with on any Cinema track. Some of the best come with their bilingual songs: like the effervescent tones of “Little By Little” (“Quiero amanecer entre tu piel de miel / Luego acariciarte hasta quitar tu sed,” Zardoya murmurs delicately); or the softly strummed “Fog as a Bullet,” where the sad wail of horns rise to gently meet her lament.
On songs like the bemoaning, shuddering-electronica of “Calling U Back” and the dreamy longing of “All I Really Want Is You,” The Marías rhapsodize their romance into scenes of heartache; while the strobing-bass lines of “Hush” flip-the-script into a concussive rebuff of the kind of unwanted advances women can receive from men.
Groovy guitars quiver on the lush movements of “Heavy,” a melancholic piece that takes a deeper look at the struggle that comes with letting people in. The spacey soundscapes of “The Mice Inside This Room” continue The Marías lucid introspection into the personal hurdles that come with entangling yourself with another person — its gorgeous orchestral outro a soothing accent upon its already poignant atmosphere.
All of it culminates into the album’s finale “Talk to Her,” a spoken word meandering through Zardoya’s tender but incisive and kaleidoscopic lens that unravels itself to the paced crescendo of scattered and spiraling instruments. It’s the final word, a sigh that somehow covers the breadth of Zardoya’s experience as an artist, a woman, and human soul trying to balance the vulnerability love requires of us with the steeled and defiant nature we develop against a world that would keep us down — even while trying not to grow jaded and closed-off to it. “Don’t stop getting up, don’t stop getting up,” Conway offers in the chaotic but melodious soaring that ends the song — and if there ever was a perfect illumination of the spirit of Cinema, that’s it.
|“We want people to feel inspired to create anything, whether it’s music or art or whatever else they’re drawn to,” says María. “Hopefully the songs will help them to break away from real life for a while and create some kind of dream world in their heads – something like the scenes to their own little movie.”|
Buy and stream Cinema here. The Marías will be going on tour and have two dates in Los Angeles one at The Ford Theater on July 30 (free with RSVP) and two more at The Novo on March 12, 2022 and March 13. Visit The Marías website, Twitter, and Instagram to stay updated on new releases and tour announcements.
Listen to The Marías new album Cinema below!
The Marías tour:
7/30/2021 – The Ford Theater (with the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles) – Los Angeles, CA
9/22 – 9/26/2021 – Treefort Music Festival – Boise, ID
10/5/2021 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre (opening for Leon Bridges) – Denver, CO
1/26/2022 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl
1/27/2022 – San Diego, CA – SOMA
1/28/2022 – Phoenix, AZ – Van Buren
1/29/2022 – Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf
2/1/2022 – El Paso, TX – Lowbrow Palace
2/3/2022 – Austin, TX – Emo’s
2/4/2022 – San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger
2/5/2022 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
2/6/2022 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
2/8/2022 – St. Louis, MO – Old Rock House
2/10/2022 – Nashville, TN – Exit/In
2/11/2022 – Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theatre
2/12/2022 – Carborro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
2/14/2022 – Washington DC – 9:30 Club
2/17/2022 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
2/18/2022 – Philadelphia, PA – TLA
2/19/2022 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
2/22/2022 – Toronto, ON – Danforth
2/24/2022 – Chicago, IL – Vic Theatre
2/26/2022 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre
2/27/2022 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave
3/2/2022 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
3/4/2022 – Seattle, WA – Neptune
3/5/2022 – Vancouver, BC – Venue
3/6/2022 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
3/8/2022 – Eugene, OR – Sessions Music Hall
3/9/2022 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
3/11/2022 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
3/12/2022 – Los Angeles, CA – The Novo