LA-based multihyphenate Tania Ordoñez, under her electronic project Soltera, is leaning into the darkness with a new single, “Malas Palabras.” Meaning “Bad Words” in English, Soltera’s latest track is a far cry from the usual techno dance music she’s been creating for the past five years. Instead, “Malas Palabras” is an industrial maze that cages your ears and induces equal amounts of disorientation and anxiety.
The most striking aspect is, without a doubt, the arpeggio synth that strings along the song from front to back. Never rising or falling in tempo, it makes for an odd listening experience where you’re constantly anticipating a sudden beat drop to come. However, it never arrives, adding to the unnerving anxiety as metal whips ricochet like projectile missiles. The result is a feeling where the encroaching arpeggio keeps zeroing in, creating a paranoid sense of an entity in pursuit.
On top of an already nightmarish instrumental complete with spectral vocals from Soltera, there’s the constant ringing of a cowbell that, at first, feels out of place. But that peculiarity adds to the personality of Soltera’s music. In terms of musicality, the track is relatively simple while utilizing every instrument and vocal effect to its fullest potential. And when simplicity is a strength rather than a hindrance, the atmosphere comes naturally. For Soltera, her voice compliments the vivid hellscape conjured by the production in an ever-exciting, albeit terrifying, way that outlines her growth from when she began to now.
Words: David Sosa