My pick: Lhasa

Posted on May 15th, 2009 by .

You always remember your first times. The first time you kissed someone. The first time you fell in love. And also the first time you heard a song that changed your life. Lhasa will change yours.

Read more to find out how to bring home a meaningful souvenir from your trip to Montréal.

I think we can always remember our first times. The first time you kissed someone, the first time you fell in love. And also the first time you heard a song that changed your life.
For me, one of these songs was De cara a la pared, by Lhasa. I discovered it almost ten years ago, and I remember staring at the stereo, listening, carefully, to what Lhasa was saying. It was the first song of her album La Llorona, and I still shed a little tear every time I hear it. Her voice is incredibly beautiful, the music is exceptionally powerful, and the lyrics seem to be written just for me. The same magic happened about six years later, when Lhasa released her second album, The Living Road. And now Lhasa has released her third album, and it’s always the same feeling: that sweet, tender melancholy that I loved and cherished with her past albums.

If you want to bring home a meaningful souvenir from your trip to Montréal, you should seriously consider getting this album instead of furry hoodies. I always like to bring something locally made from my trips, but I can’t stand knick-knacks that were mass-made. I prefer to pick up books, magazines or albums from the places I visited, especially because I know they aren’t easy to find back home.

Think about Bonnie Prince Billy meeting up with Cat Power. Think about it as world music, even though it’s not really what you might expect from world music. Lhasa de Sela was born in Mexico, learned English, and then Spanish, and then came to Montréal and learned French. She speaks all three languages, and has no accent in any of them. Maybe because she’s apart, and because her songs are timeless, they seem like precious pieces made for eternity that speak to the heart and soul. Her songs are very intimate, yet universal, and I think that’s the beauty of it. For her self-titled album, Lhasa decided to stay in Montréal, and record it at home. It’s not really surprising, because she’s exactly what I love about the city; this tender mix of origins, not belonging to anything really, but just being yourself in your own way.

Listen to Lhasa’s latest album on her official website, and check out the music video for “Fool’s Gold” here.

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