Counting Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Stipe, and Rufus Wainwright as fans, today Ane Diaz released her newest single + video “Carmela.” It’s the latest track off her debut album of reimagined Venezuelan folk songs Despechada, out June 9 via Rain Phoenix’s label, LaunchLeft. The fiery track showcases Diaz’s powerful vocal prowess which, along with a building backbeat, climbs to impressive heights and weaves through a flurry of horns and strings. “This song is a fulia oriental,” Diaz says. “Fulias are originally from the Canary Islands, where my dad is from, and it was adapted by different parts of the country. These types of songs are now played in town parties and celebrations: for people to exchange their day, personal grievances, love stories followed by a chorus’ answer.”
As the song mourns the woes of heartbreak to ‘Carmela,’ the accompanying AI-generated video lets Diaz’s booming vocals guide viewers through a hypnotic loop of faces and places from her native country. Directed by Nathalia Pizarro, the video was created using Stable Diffusion technology, a latent diffusion model that utilizes a kind of deep generative neural network. It is primarily used to generate detailed images conditioned on text descriptions, though it can also be applied to other tasks such as inpainting, outpainting, and generating image-to-image translations guided by a text prompt.
Ane Diaz’s unconditional love for her homeland of Caracas, Venezuela remains at the forefront of her musical journey. “Despechada means heartbroken or without your soul,” says Diaz. “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. The ten tracks, handpicked by Diaz’s mother, result in a sonically lush and lyrically nostalgic journey through her heritage as she honors her memories of Venezuela. Produced, mixed and mastered by Jim White, Paul Fonfara, and John Keane, the project continues Diaz’s overarching themes of family orientation and paying homage to her homeland, with her fear of forgetting cherished memories of Venezuela fueling the inspiration 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.
Ane and Rain Phoenix first met in the late ‘80s during Gainesville, Florida’s booming music scene, and their paths haven’t stopped crossing since then. Diaz released her debut EP Venezuela 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.). Her navigation through the American underground music scene is what ultimately led to her reconnection with her Venezuelan roots. “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.”