Marias Talk Debut Album, The Influence of Pedro Almodovar and Grammy Nod – Billboard

Marias bilingual debut, CINEMA, received a Grammy nomination last month for best designed, non-classical album – a rarity for an album with lyrics in Spanish.

Nominations in that category go to master engineers and engineers, not to recording artists. However, Josh Conway, one of the members of the LA-based indie pop quartet, is considered one of the album’s engineers. So Conway was nominated, along with fellow engineers Marvin Figueroa, Josh Gudwin, Neal H. Pogue and Ethan Shumaker and master engineer Joe LaPorta.




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The best-designed album, non-classical genre has been presented since the first Grammy’s ceremony in 1959 and traditionally recognizes genres of fluid, orchestral, and instrumental compositions. Besides CINEMA, Other nominees for 2022 are: YebbaR&B/jazz compilation album by Dawn, Low’s percussion powered by fuel Hey what?, Tony Bennett and Lady GagaCole Porter’s Collection of Classics Love for sale, and Pino Palladino & Blake Mills‘collab Notes with attachments. (Mills was nominated as one of the engineers.)

Drawing on influences from film and especially the classics of Pedro Almodovar, CINEMA’the curvaceous sound of reggaeton, indie and rock en Español.

In conversation with Billboards, Conway (vocalist, drummer, technician and producer on ) CINEMA), María Zardoya, lead vocalist of the quartet, Pogue engineer, and master engineer LaPorta reveal the process behind the debut combo.

Conway recalls the conceptual motifs and acoustic themes of CINEMA that emerged around Zardoya’s birthday in 2020 when he turned his bedroom into a movie theater. According to Conway, a large portion of the project’s muses come after spending the weekend looking at contemporary classics, such as black Swan, Golden statusand “every Pedro Almodovar movie.”

Talk to her (Hable Con Ella) by Almodovar was the movie we all fell in love with right away,” recalls Conway. The film serves as the inspiration behind both the song “Hable Con Ella” and the ending theme song, “Talk to Her”, the latter recounting the dark times on The Marías’ first tour with as a supporting role in 2018.

Once the album’s overarching theme was established, Conway’s instrumental and melodic-focused production style crept into the album’s infrastructure – leading the listener through a story that begins with the prologue. , the climax and the ending.

During the mixing process, Conway kept in mind the advice of “Our very trusted A&R, Ricky Reed, he said to me once, ‘Try and mix the mixtures as close as possible before transferring them. Go. “

Previously, The Marías had operated independently – meaning there were no fancy mixers to choose from, only Conway and sometimes a few mixing buddies who would assist with select songs. But with one label, all that changed and Conway had to work on perfecting every mix. “It made things very difficult, a lot more time consuming but I’m glad I did because you can’t put that much pressure on the mixer. Once I gave it to them, I was delighted with what I received.

After combing through many layers CINEMABoth Conway and Zardoya’s production directed their recording space in Los Angeles’s Beachwood Canyon as an atmospheric setting that was once a sanctuary during last summer’s quarantine.

“We are recording at our neighbor’s house. She had been gone for a few months and asked us to sit at home. She was like, ‘Can I pay you?’ and we said, “Well, you wouldn’t have to pay us if we could move our studio here!” ‘ Conway said with a laugh.

Zardoya shared: “It was a very long process working on the album. “Just when we were in the mixing stage, our studio was flooded. It’s just a lot of obstacles that we had to overcome and it’s clear that this album was recorded during the pandemic. When we finally got the mix from Neal [Pogue], who was amazing to work with, seeing the watchlist and watching it all together, we both had a moment of relief. We’re really proud of ourselves for sticking with it, for having this project to represent the truly crazy but special, beautiful moments of our lives. ”

The band’s first EP, Superclean Vol. I, dropped in 2017 and was followed by a second in 2018. Both projects reflect the band’s euphoric scene with jazz percussion, mesmerizing guitar riffs, and Zardoya’s distinctive satin vocals. .

Fun and romantic details unravel on The Marías discography, adjusting the sound to meet different moods, themes and genres. With Spanish films as the core inspiration for CINEMA, Zardoya says her love of film and music can be traced back to her multicultural childhood, noting the ways in which her Puerto Rican and Hispanic ancestry materialized in throughout her artistic career.

“I grew up listening to a lot of music in both languages ​​and so [CINEMA] have that opinion [of] Zardoya explained.

In addition to the album’s cinematic origins, Pogue – who was also nominated for Album of the Year as an engineer on Doja Cat’s Her Planet (Luxurious) – thinks that singer Zardoya is the “glue” of the act in pushing the project forward.

“She is the main detail no matter what style they are following from song to song. She kept it together,” he explained. “They have a sound like no other. The different musical cultural influences they bring create a distinctive sound. Whether they know it or not, they still have a classic style that I associate with, which makes me fall in love with the project more and more as I mix each song.”

“The band’s very specific vision for the record helped produce great results during the mastery phase,” says LaPorta. “Neal, along with Josh Gudwin and Josh Conway, have had the mixes in one great place, so it’s all about the subtleties of putting it all together in the album setting.”

On the album, “‘Un Million’ has the most recognizable reggaeton origin and ‘Fog As a Bullet’ features a spanish guitar – nylon string guitar is really all we use,” Conway added, outlines the unique blend of instrumentation and complex chord progressions at the heart of the band’s sound exploration.Moreover, in “Hush,” Conway’s vibrating bass experiment unleashes the the little details dance with each brooding.”Silent, ” Takes you back to the chorus.

“Then the tune came out for the chorus and we both just looked at each other – We said, ‘Okay, this is our Britney moment'” – referring to the snappy pop beat, The future supports the delivery of dialogue: “(Every night) There you run in circles, I know (Touchin’ me) Take your feet off my Dolce Cologne.

After finishing a year filled with career highs – including signing with Atlantic in early 2021 and his first No. Billboards‘S Alternative Airplay for Adults chart – the band hopes for what 2022 can bring. Marías are expected to go on tour in January to perform their nominated album for the first time since its release..

“Whether it’s in passion or in nostalgic tunes, I think it goes beyond language or even rhythm – that’s the general feeling Latinos growing up naturally expressed in. all the music,” said Zardoya, summarizing the characteristics of CINEMA.

https://www.billboard.com/music/features/the-marias-debut-album-cinema-1235012761/ Marias Talk Debut Album, The Influence of Pedro Almodovar and Grammy Nod – Billboard

Dais Johnston

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