“Where are you from?” Brooklyn’s answer to Latin indie rock asks its listeners this question with its latest album, which encompasses guitarist/vocalist Ani Cordero’s own personal musings on recent misfortunes. De Donde Eres, the quartet’s latest release, sheds the band’s former bilingualism and plays for keeps with Spanish, creating a deeper authenticity and a more appropriate platform for Ani’s sweet voice, paired with soft but poignant nylon-stringed guitars, horns and keys.
De Donde Eres was born from difficulty, but most of these songs are anything but contrite. “Quique” is a bouncy, feisty bass-thumping song with brassy undertones, Cordero singing call-and-response style with her male band counterparts about fiestas and “bailando” over a bubbly organ line. The album transitions into introversion with “Guardasecretos,” its lilting guitar and plaintive trumpet pairing beautifully with Cordero’s husky alto.
The band doesn’t forget its indie-rock roots, churning out a boiler with “La Musica Es La Medecina” which, if sung in English, might be mistaken for early Denali. Cordero does it way better than Maura Davis ever could, though, breathing life, originality and culture into every square inch of each measure of her music, her band (including Chris Verene, formerly of The Rock*A*Teens) providing a gorgeously fitting soundtrack for Cordero’s tales of struggle and triumph. De Donde Eres is for Ani Cordero an affirmation; for her audience, it’s a testament to life’s ever-swinging pendulum, as pretty as it can be made.