New York City natives Combo Chimbita have released a hypnotic, melodramatic new single “Memoria.” In their new single, the Latinx quartet utilize a mix of sounds from heavy synth to cumbia dub rhythms to create an echoing, unrelenting melody with lyrics that meditate on the power of memory. Focusing on the moments that deeply affect us in life, the band takes from their own experiences to pen an intrinsically emotional song. Lyrics sung in Spanish are delivered with an understated eloquence and hang in the air like moisture in high humidity. “Memoria” is a dense, potent single that evokes strong emotions and speaks to human endeavors and our relationship to the world around us, both natural and unnatural.
“”Memoria” is, without a doubt, a song that narrates a moment from my childhood: the passing of my grandfather, an important figure in my life who propelled me to sing,” says lead vocalist Carolina Oliveras. “That moment breathes into this track’s rhythms and loops, a melancholic moment that repeats itself into my memory and evokes the ephemeral nature of life.”
Elevated by a music video featuring multidisciplinary artist Helen Ceballos, Combo Chimbita explore not just memories, but various psychological and human boundaries. In the music video, directed by Oscar Diaz as part of an ongoing auto-fictional narrative series with prominent Puerto Rican queer artists, Ceballos is seen crawling and digging her way outside of the ground in various suggestive ways from the erotic to the macabre and everything in between.
“Building a bridge between Combo Chimbita’s mystical exploration of memory and Helen Ceballos’ performance art was an organic weaving of the minds,” Diaz explained. “They challenge us to reexamine the relationships we cultivate between our bodies, the lands we inhabit, and the radiating energy of deep ancestral roots that connect us all. Visually and sonically, we reveal the distinct transformations we encounter through life while navigating the tenderness, grief, and resilience of one’s metamorphosis.”
Words: Patti Sanchez