Y La Bamba recently announced the April 28 release of their new album Lucha. To declare one thematic narrative from Lucha, Y La Bamba’s seventh album would be to chisel away a story within a story within a story into the illusion of something singular. “Lucha is a symbol of how hard it is for me to tackle healing, live life, and be present,” Mendoza Ramos says of the title behind the album which translates from Spanish to English as ‘fight’ and is also a nickname for Luz, which means light. The album explores multiplicity — love, queerness, Mexican American and Chicanx identity, family, intimacy, yearning, and loneliness — and chronicles a period of struggle and growth for Mendoza Ramos as a person and artist.
Today, Y La Bamba shares the second single, “Collapse,” with a gorgeous video directed by Jesse Bettis.
“This song is about my self-empowerment, and not giving up on my evolution or holding back my intuition,” says Y La Bamba’s Luz Elena Mendoza Ramos of the track. “It’s a song about realizing that I have gotten myself this far even though shit has been rough for many years.”
“I don’t need anything from nobody” they sing, in accessing their personal discovery and self-worth. Pre-order Lucha HERE.
While peeling back layers of the past to better understand the present has been integral to this period of growth for Mendoza Ramos, time, trauma, and history can feel like interconnected, abysmal loops and music has remained a trusted space for Mendoza Ramos to process, experiment, and channel their learnings into a creative practice. In this way, Lucha has become cyclical, documenting the parallel trust Mendoza Ramos has built with themself to allow the songs to guide how they should be sung, or even sound.
While each song holds personal significance to Mendoza Ramos, part of growing into their identity as an artist has been allowing space for protection and boundaries, and choosing to withhold some of that meaning from the public. Lucha is their own story of the complexity of trauma and nonlinear healing and growth processes, but they imagine it is also the continuation of their ancestors’ stories and might also be a mirror to the story of others.
“Even though I’m trying to fight, I never want to demonize suffering, because that’s part of growing. And it’s hard, because we’re living in times where that [stigma] is what’s happening. So if this—me talking about my mental health and finding healing in my queerness—is a risk, I hope that I find a community that protects it and protects me, because they know I have their back. I am also trying to be my mom’s community.”
Y La Bamba will be on a national US tour in the Spring but first hits SXSW in Austin for two weeks. A full list of dates with more to be added can be found below.
Y La Bamba Tour Dates
Mar 13 – 17 – Austin, TX – SXSW
April 26 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom (Album Release Show)
April 27 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
April 29 – Sacramento, CA – Starlet Room
April 30 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
May 02 – Los Angeles, CA – Lodge Room
May 03 – Santa Barbara, CA – SoHo
May 04 – San Diego, CA – Casbah
May 05 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar
May 06 – Santa Fe, NM – El Rey Court
May 07 – Albuquerque, NM – Fusion 708
May 09 – Dallas, TX – Tulips
May 11 – McAllen, TX –Gremlin
May 12 – San Antonio, TX – Jaime’s Place
May 13 – Austin, TX – The Ballroom
May 16 – Washington, DC – Songbyrd
May 17 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
May 20 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
May 21 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Entry
May 23 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater