Soledad Velez

Soledad Velez

Soledad Velez

Wild Fishing

Absolute Beginners Records

Chilean folk singer Soledad Velez grew up listening to music in English, but you wouldn’t know it’s not her native tongue listening to her debut album Wild Fishing. Sounds range from PJ Harvey-ish moments (the title track and “Homeless”) and funky workouts (“Johnnie”) to Devendra Banhart/Fleet Foxes-style modern folk music. The record opens with “Black Light in the Forest,” a rousing, energetic exercise with a strident, “get with it” beat and Velez’s angelic voice imploring the listener Don’t you want me back? Her instrumentation is varied, with accompaniment from J. de Santos on guitars, banjo, harmonium, and more, while Velez strums a mean ukulele and guitar herself.

This is one of those records that grows on you, revealing subtle inflections upon repeated listening. While not exactly “world music,” it is music of a world seen through different eyes (and ears!) than we’re used to, and all the better for it. Soledad Velez is playful, moody, funky, and rocking, often within the same song. You might not have heard of Wild Fishing and Soledad Velez before now, but I suspect that will change. Marvelous!

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