Xenia Rubinos’ musical ingenuity knows no bounds as she releases the sixth and final single from her long-awaited album, Una Rosa. Each of the two sides of this album, expected to drop October 15 on Anti- Records, features contrasting sounds.
Our first introduction to Xenia’s music was through her now infamous song with such a punky attitude, “Pan y Cafe” from her debut album Magic Trix. Xenia, a brilliant multi-instrumentalist, and her drumming/percussionist partner Marco Buccelli, have that unmatched ability to explore music in all its forms and create these phenomenal, quirky, out-of-the-box sonic arrangements brimming with thought-provoking lyricism.
Her next venture, Black Terry Cat, blew our minds with another dose of fresh, lush compositions and Xenia’s unique vocal stylings. Listen to “Lonely Lover” and pay attention to how long she holds the note on the word down. And she does this in her live performances, too! How?! Bruja power!
Xenia has gone on to release several singles since BTC including a cover en español of “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” which was part of the film I’m Leaving Now (Ya Me Voy). Earlier this year she dropped “I Did My Best,” an emotional and deeply moving song about loss and grieving. The song speaks to me personally, like it has for so many, especially after having lost so many people since the start of the pandemic.
Now, this fall, Xenia is set to release a brand new album, with an entirely new concept, new for her and her fans. This recording is described as “an album centered around a multi-layered audiovisual story and the characters it contains. Una Rosa is a cinematic obra, an imagined nighttime space where you’re transported through the lives of various characters, all of whom are sonically painted in each track.”
The record has two sides, one in red, the other in blue, an indication of the contrasting sounds for each. “Don’t Put Me In Red” is the last single to be previewed from the album before its full release.
Xenia says that “Don’t Put Me In Red” pivots the album into a more introspective sound. In press material it’s explained that “the lyrics were inspired by a recurring experience that Xenia would have on tour, when lighting engineers would throw on a red light and just leave it up ‘like it was their default red Latina lighting,’ Xenia says. The experience became a constant frustration and Xenia made it a point to approach the lighting engineer before the show and say, ‘Look, I don’t know anything about stage lighting so do whatever you want but please just please don’t put me in red. It became my request at whatever venue or festival we were at. It was a pilgrimage I would make every night after soundcheck to find the lighting engineer and ask them to please not put me in red. It became this ritual of protecting my space onstage, at least the little bit I could.’ ”
Photo credit: Michelle Arcila