Live / Fito del Rio and La Granja
Those of us who have listened to Fito at his concerts or consumed those recordings he made with a telephone in one of his performances at La Marca —to which we had to go if we wanted to sing out loud “or is it that you are raising me”, to despite the irremediable audio quality or the comments crossed by the public— we will notice the great leap that his compositions have given.
This singer-songwriter, who decided to be accompanied by a band —The farm— to venture into the paths of national rock, he released his first EP on July 2. An EP recorded live at República Records with a format of five musicians and their own songs in which for almost half an hour nothing will be heard other than guitars, voices, bass, percussion and a soft clarinet that accompanies the main melody in the middle of the phonogram . Although interrupted by the prevention measures imposed by COVID-19, a fundraising campaign that lasted two months, and offered everything from concerts with tattoo sessions to contribution drinks baptized with the names of these songs, served to tell what was collected and go to the studio
The EP opens with Inside Island. Impregnated with a strong social content and with the most explosive chorus of this production, it deals with the conflict of identity and rootlessness with poetry of strange maturity and a hurricane musicality in which the participation of Kevin Espinosa stands out, enlarging the theme with the rockers plucks from his Strat. follows him Transcendental that, with a somewhat atypical structure compared to the rest of the tracks, and an arrangement that does not drop the rock and roll cadence of its predecessor, and well-cared lyricism, is a clear tribute to the author's referents, who from his verses defines them as immovable figures that will not yield to the disintegration of time.
Night Icarus, located in the center of the record, invites the listener to take a break from the restless rhythm generated by the aforementioned songs. This ballad in a major key is the most intimate space of the production, an ode to love and its ravages, in which the tender phrasing of María Ochoa on the clarinet and the nuances with which Bryan Frías' bass enriches it, make Don't be surprised by the cello accompaniment with which the singer-songwriter made this song known in his concerts.
Returning to faster tempos, the phonogram continues with light shot, the most tropical of the EP. With Gustavo Marron behind the cymbals, from the first bars he opens by marking the rumba key, and then turns the rest of the song around it, alternating it with conga. Perhaps of the five pieces that make up the work, this is the one with the vaguest poetics, bequeathing the images to the background, possibly to achieve choruses that are easy to sing and a greater participation of the public in live performances.
With short song closes this production, taking up the political-social theme of its opening. Although —as the name suggests— having few lines does not miss more content. Here Fito makes a declaration of principles, synthesizing them in three verses and ending the album with the most reflective phrase of the song: “Who says I don't make a revolution?”.
En Vivo it is not a perfect product. The little budget that their campaign was able to raise and compliance with sanitary measures at República Records meant that the group was forced to opt for a smaller than ideal format, without the possibility of having guest musicians. Arrangements and production were carried out by the band, and this does not stop being noticed when, at times, the guitar phrasing bumps into the voice wanting to compete in prominence.
Both the group and its director are still discovering themselves, polishing the aesthetics of their work so that the message penetrates the consumer as much as possible. However, despite the lack of experience and the few options that the pandemic allowed, Fito del Rio and La Granja balance it with very clean recordings, their own imaginary with lyrics that tend to avoid easy verse and, above all, melodies. with a lot of charm that sit on your chest and then prompt you to sing at concerts, making you feel like you're walking through the interior corridors of an island.