At NPR Music, we get stacks of CDs in the mail, as well as countless links to music streams, from bands trying to stand out and get some attention. It's safe to say that we all share similar previewing procedures: At some point, we just sit and listen.
What are we listening for? I can't speak for the others, but I'm constantly in search of music I haven't heard, but which sounds as if it's been in my life forever.
That's exactly what happened when I put on Yva Las Vegass' album, I was born in a place of sunshine and the smell of ripe mangoes. I was knocked out by the way she infuses Venezuelan folk traditions with a punk aesthetic. I heard songs as allegories, songs that told stories and songs that felt like deep primal screams, all accompanied by a traditional Venezuelan cuatro — a small stringed instrument similar to a ukulele.
At the NPR Music offices, Las Vegass weaves magic with her presence, her playing and especially her voice. You can't quite see her cut-off jeans and Chuck Taylor high-top sneakers behind Bob Boilen's desk, but in attitude and style, Yva Las Vegass is punk-rock through and through.
- "Tonadas Y Cantos"
- "Polo Margaritenoio"
Producer: Felix Contreras; Editor: Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Mito Habe-Evans, Ryan Smith; photo by Lauren Rock/NPR