Venezuelan singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Ane Diaz has released her highly anticipated debut album Despechada via Rain Phoenix’s label, LaunchLeft. A collection of re-imagined Venezuelan folk tales, the album is a sonically lush and lyrically nostalgic journey through her heritage as she honors her memories of her hometown in Venezuela. Diaz’s impressive musical prowess shines through on each track, ranging from powerful and thundering vocals to soft and gentle crooning as she makes these songs of her childhood her own, as heard on singles “Clavelito Colorado,” “Carmela,” “Pueblos Tristes,” and now, “Fulgída Luna.”
A romantic yet melancholy track, “Fulgída Luna” highlights the soothing timbre of Diaz’s vocals that float across a cascade of mellow horns and strings while the lyrics croon to the Moon, tenderly asking for its assistance in letting an ungrateful lover know that even though they are dying, they did not suffer, and that they are sorry for any offense they may have caused.
To celebrate the release of Despechada, Ane Diaz will also be playing a record release show on Monday,June 12 at Zebulon in Los Angeles in support of the psychedelic, Indian classical music collective, Liberate Elemental Forces. You can RSVP to the show here.
Ane Diaz’s unconditional love for her homeland of Venezuela remains at the forefront of her musical journey. “Despechada means heartbroken or without your soul,” says Díaz. “It’s a very powerful word used for love affairs, but that’s also how I feel about losing my country.” Despite the meaning of the word ‘Despechada,’ the album feels like home. Across the ten tracks handpicked by Diaz’s mother, and produced, mixed and mastered by Jim White, Paul Fonfara, and John Keane, the project continues Diaz’s overarching themes of family and paying homage to the original creators of these songs, where, for her, everything musical started. The memories of her childhood in Venezuela fuel the emotion behind the reimagined renditions of the iconic folk songs presented on the album. The album’s cover art also features a painting done by her brother Miguel of their cousin Vanessa after moving to the USA.
Ane and Rain Phoenix first met in the late ‘80s during Gainesville, Florida’s booming music scene, and later on became bandmates in The Causey Way ( Alternative Tentacles ) and their paths haven’t stopped crossing since then. Diaz released her debut EP Venezuela (produced by Phoenix) in 2018, with her single “Los Ejes de Mi Carreta” following in 2020, grabbing the attention from the likes of Jonathan Richman (The Modern Lovers, with whom Diaz opened for in 2018) and Michael Stipe (R.E.M.). In her navigation through the American underground music scene, is where she ultimately found she could reconnect with the Venezuelan folklore she so missed. “After I went through a few genres, I realized, ‘this is me,’” Diaz says. “It’s my bliss. It’s really where my voice lives.”
Aside from music, Ane grows agave with her husband: “In both you need; love, patience, dedication, and imagination. In both you don’t know exactly what the outcome will be but, you know you are continuing something ancient and magical.”
Photo Courtesy: Mark Peterson