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Angélica Garcia’s ‘Gemelo’ Is a Spiritual Thriller in Song

The singer’s third album, a heady electro-opera, is her first largely sung in Spanish
Angelica Garcia (Photo credit: Shervin Lainez)

Angélica Garcia – Gemelo
Partisan Records

By early 2020, following a coveted endorsement from Barack Obama, Angélica Garcia rolled out her eclectic second album, Cha Cha Palace, to much critical acclaim. Yet when a devastating pandemic threatened to curtail her breakthrough moment, the alt-pop luminary took shelter in her family home back in Los Angeles—and cleared some psychic cobwebs in the attic.

Now Garcia surfaces with Gemelo: a spiritual thriller in song. In reference to the Spanish word for “twin,” her new record is a heady electro-opera, following Garcia as she breaks bread with her more ethereal side, the soul to her body.

Shaken by the tension between her upbringing as a reverend’s daughter, and her increasing encounters with the supernatural, Garcia articulates these intuitive spells through mutable sonic contours, featuring the psych-rock touches of Chicano Batman members Carlos Arévalo and Eduardo Arenas. The jazzy choral signature of “Color de Dolor”—“What is the color of pain?” she asks—gives way to “Juanita,” a creeping cumbia lilt that surges into a brackish rock catharsis. Within, Garcia communes with her mystical great-great grandmother, thrashing the ghosts of trauma that were passed down to her.

Garcia also navigates her internal dualities through lyrical interplays between English and Spanish, the dominant language of Gemelo. In contrast to previous albums, Garcia leaned into her mother tongue as a way of reaching not only her ancestors, but also her loved ones who still occupy the physical plane. By record’s end, Garcia emerges in full command of this mercurial spirit world—a high priestess with a synth and a killer sixth sense. – GRADE: A-

You can preview Gemelo on Bandcamp and elsewhere.

Partisan Records