It's hard for me to find things that I don't like about Phoenix rockers Snow Songs. Starting with singer Yolanda Bejarano's lovely vox to the band's bright arrangements and pop consciousness, there's so much to fall in love with here.
One of my favorite things about them is that they even have songs in Spanish. As a kid who went through a very prominent rock en español phase in the late 1990s, it's music to my ears.
Regardless of your personality, every kid knows a little something about love, loss, and rejection; themes that Spanish-language music happens to be very good at conveying.
You can see Snow Songs in person when they play with experimental dance-party-blues jammers Wooden Indian as part of their new residency at Long Wong's on Friday, April 27. Also on the bill are Former Friends of Young Americans, Nicholas Villa and His Familiar Faces, and Colorstore.
Have no fear if you're Spanish-language-challenged, Snow Songs have plenty of English tracks. But in case you were wondering what she is singing about, here is an explanation of "Ultima Vez"(Last Time).
Up on the Sun: What's the story behind "Ultima Vez"?
Yolanda Bejarano: It was written a really long time ago about a friend I couldn't convince to stay. I've since upped my game to include beer and breakfast burritos from Salsitas in my offer. Classy.
What was the writing process like for this song? Both musically and lyrically. Any reason in particular you chose to write this song in Spanish versus English?
I was playing guitar and this little melody came up. The first line appeared in Spanish. It wasn't a deliberate decision to write it in Spanish. That's just what the song wanted to be.
Spanish is my second language. I can converse well enough, but reading and writing it always slows me down, because I think in English. Does that happen to you at all? Is it any harder for you to write a song in Spanish?
That happens to me as well! I tried to read a Gabriel Garcia Marquez book in Spanish and it was so difficult. I would read it, then translate it to English to be able to understand it. I ended up buying the English version. But, with songs it's different. I'm not thinking about the lyrics in English when i'm working on a Spanish song. But if you compare my lyrics to say, Jose Alfredo Jimenez or Ricardo Arjona, you'll see that my lyrics are a bit child-like. Very simple. They're poets and I'm kind of like in a poetry 101 class.
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You have a show coming up with Wooden Indian. For those who have never seen you live, how would you describe a Snow Songs live performance?
[It is] raw and passionate. We want to take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions, from love to rage. We want to bring out the inner child who lives in the moment. We want to hear the children's laughter.