Born in Argentina but raised in London, musician-filmmaker Malena Zavala imbues her work with a sense of spacious geography, infusing her work with Latin rhythms, aqueous dream pop melodies and just a little bit of indie rock muscle.
She often looks back on the support that her mother and grandmother gave her as she was growing up, pushing her to discover her own voice and personality. He also owes much to her older brother, with whom she spend a number of years playing alongside in a band they shared in London and who she considers to be her musical mentor. After a few years playing together, he decided to accept an opportunity and moved to California -- and this break, although difficult, gave her the chance to recognize the particular details of her own creativity. But it wasn't long before she has made the trek to visit him in California and wound up cloistering herself in his house in Aliso Viej for 6 months to write the songs that would eventually make their way onto her upcoming debut record, "Aliso."
"It's really satisfying to find a way to express yourself and get things off your chest that have been there for years," she relates about the writing and recording process. "I’m really glad I found it and kinda surprised as well. I'm finally at peace."
She's now getting ready for her debut's release on April 13 via Yucatan Records and will hold an album release party at the Bermondsey Social Club in London on May 9. Filled with songs addressing "cultural identity, self-doubt, acceptance, artistic freedom, miscommunication between cultures and relationships," the album has no shortage of weighty narratives. And they're all set into a backdrop of dream-pop theatricality and fluid psych rock arrangements.
On her latest single, "A Vision that's Changed," she creates a serene atmosphere to start, carefully composed of her delicate vocals and subtle guitar notes. The song slowly builds to a mass of layered voices and amorphous guitar lines, with Zavala standing at the center of this wistful pop landscape. It's subtle but devastating, a series of quiet revelations that grow and unfold at their own leisure. Along with the other songs we've already heard from "Aliso," this one is another reason why April 13 can't get here soon enough.