Venezuelan singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Ane Díaz announced her debut album Despechada, out June 9 via Rain Phoenix’s label, LaunchLeft. Inspired by her beloved homeland of Caracas, Venezuela, the album is a reflection of Díaz’s homesickness for her country. “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.” The ten tracks, handpicked by Díaz’s mother, result in a sonically lush and lyrically nostalgic journey through her heritage as she honors her memories of Venezuela.
Alongside the news, Ane Díaz also shared II her new single + visualizer “Pueblos Tristes.” The soulful, jazzed-out track showcases Díaz softly and passionately crooning over a waltzing beat as she laments her hometown, yearning for the nostalgia. “This reimagined tribute of Otilio Galindez’s ‘Pueblos Tristes’ might have been the first time I realized as a child the innate tenderness of sadness,” Díaz says. “A bystander wonders what the town thinks about at night…the girl grinding corn, the grim old man next to the old woman, the starving dog barking with pain… Only the moon knows all the stories of the town. It is with this loving sadness that I lament for the loss of my beautiful country and the daily struggle of Venezuelans everywhere.”
Ane Díaz’s unconditional love for her country of Venezuela remains at the forefront of her musical journey. Despite the meaning of the word ‘Despechada,’ the album feels like home. Produced, mixed, and mastered by Jim White, Paul Fonfara, and John Keane, the project continues Díaz’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. Díaz 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 Díaz 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,’” Díaz says. “It’s my bliss. It’s really where my voice lives.”
Photo Courtesy: Elana Lavine