Many of the year’s best music videos (one of which came out earlier this week) come from Rosalía Vila Tobella, the 25-year-old singer who is already a star in her native Spain. Rosalía works within the tradition of flamenco, the Spanish sound that’s been around forever, but she twists it in fascinating future-pop directions. In her video, she plays with iconic Spanish imagery and does wild and new things with that, too. She is an evolutionary pop star, a figure who demands your attention. She’s also got a new album, and you should probably listen to it.
El Mal Querer, Rosalía’s new album, functions as a straight-up pop album in a lot of ways. It has rippling handclaps and 808 thunks and a “Cry Me A River” interpolation. But it also gives Rosalía’s voice plenty of room to swoop and dive dramatically, and its rhythms and guitar-flutters draw on old traditions. Rosalía sings exclusively in Spanish, but even if you (like me) don’t understand the language, it’s still not that hard to lose yourself in all the album’s currents.
Rosalía wrote the whole album, and she co-produced it with Spain’s El Guincho. It’s a layered and lovingly crafted piece of music. It’s also just half an hour long, and there’s an Arthur Russell sample in there, so there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t check it out. You can stream the album below.
El Mal Querer is out now on Sony.