Home New music in our mailbox! Album review: Natasha Roldán – Ya No Estoy Aqui

Album review: Natasha Roldán – Ya No Estoy Aqui

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A decade after making her debut on the Toronto music scene, Columbian-Canadian singer-songwriter Natasha Roldán has been on a roll recently, earning spots in last year’s Small World Music Incubator program and RBC’s Launchpad – to say nothing of an official showcase spot at the Folk Music Ontario Conference.

Now she has at last bestowed on us her debut full-length album, Ya No Estoy Aqui – the follow-up to her 2015 EP, No Apologies.

The ensuing nine years have seen Natasha leave behind the more conventional jazz influences of that first project in favour of a distinctive Latin-flavoured mixture of folk and jazz featuring minimalist arrangements of guitars and percussion.

But the real character in these arrangements comes from the vintage-sounding trumpet passages by Marie Goudy (Michael Buble), from the clarinet on the opening title track, and from Natasha’s powerful, luminous vocals, which contain just a hint of the melancholy suggested by the album’s theme.

Ya No Estoy Aquí is about migration, revolution, love and the Colombian conflict, and it’s dedicated to the conflict’s survivors and to migrants and displaced persons.

It is at once wistful – such as on “Migrante” and “El Perdon” – and hopeful, notably on “Revolucionaria,” and it showcases Natasha’s growing sophistication as a composer.

It’s an auspicious debut — if an album 10 years in the making can really be called a debut.

She launches it Thursday at the Small World Music Centre in Toronto.

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