London-based Alømelí released her single ‘La Frontera’ (‘The Frontier’) on the 15th of September 2023 via Kareliona Records LTD. Growing up in Sonora, a Mexican border state neighboring Arizona in the US, Alømelí had firsthand experience with the complexities of legal crossings and the harrowing tales of those who attempted illegal crossings. Bearing witness to this left a lasting impression on her, which ‘La Frontera’ pays testimony to. She collaborated with another London-based musician Baldo Verdú, who arranged and produced the track. Growing up in Venezuela, the themes and feeling of the song are close to Verdú’s heart too.
‘La Frontera’ is a corrido – a traditional Mexican ballad of eight-syllable, four-line stanzas sung to a simple tune in fast waltz time, typically having lyrics that narrate a historical event. Corridos have traditionally been sung by men, but Alømelí’s rich, dark feminine vocals – moving between English and Spanish with ease – have an arguably more haunting impact on the storytelling. Verdú’s instrumentation includes rich, low strings, Spanish guitar and traditional Latin American percussion that create an array of textures that hold your attention. While the beat is a continuous waltz, it varies in speed as the story’s intensity ebbs and flows.
‘La Frontera’ deals with themes of violence, family separation, historical injustice, human dignity and the complexity of border dynamics. The music beautifully accompanies the humanizing first-person account of these challenges.