Puerto Rican phenomenon iLe (Ileana Cabra) has shared a new single “Traguito,” announcing with it that her third album Nacarile will be out on October 21. She’s joined by Chilean singer/songwriter Mon Laferte leading to the kind of duet that only happens once in a lifetime. The new track also comes with a lyric video tinged with nostalgia. In it, the lyrics of the song glow neon as they flash atop what looks like an old stereo system.
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Over the winding rhythms of lilting acoustic guitars, the duo reworks a Julia de Burgos poem for the sake of its female characters. The poem, titled “Yo Misma Fui Mi Ruta,” originally told the story of a woman who is difficult to love. But iLe and Laferte fill in the blanks of this two-dimensional tale, giving voice to the woman often on the receiving end of the hyper-machismo attitude of classic boleros.
And with its lush instrumentation and dizzying melodies “Traguito” is just that: a gorgeous affirmation of a different (not difficult) way of doing things. “No es que yo fuera difícil / Es que fui como quería,” iLe coos on the chorus, as she emphasizes that her being “difficult” is just a matter of opinion. Just another constraint placed on her by a man who thinks he’s worthy of her love and disappointed when he can’t control her. As the song continues iLe’s and Laferte’s vocals grow more assertive, more emphatic about the agency of the woman in the Burgos poem.
Words by Steven Ward
Watch the lyric video for “Traguito” from iLe featuring Mon Laferte below!