Photo: Ashley Seryn
Superpowers, like flying and teleportation, are real. And anyone who tells you otherwise is either mistaken, or they've never listened to The Marías. But fear not. The Marías just graced us with their debut album, Cinema, a vivid, masterful body of work that will teleport your consciousness into a mesmerizing daydream of a movie.
The album takes flight with "Just a Feeling," and a beautiful instrumental prelude with plush, old Hollywood strings weaved in with a mellow jazz guitar, before the growl and bark at the top of "Calling U Back" fiercely switches scenes and picks up the pace. Cinema features ethereal, sultry tracks like "All I Really Want Is You" and "Spin Me Around," as well as upbeat, intricate powerhouses like "Hush" and "Un Millón."
It also features "Fog as a Bullet," a graceful serenade in which you can hear the texture of the guitar as the fingers move along the acoustic fretboard, before a trumpet enters in the distance, uniting with the strings and vocals in melody as María Zardoya sings, "Me la paso llorando," "I spend time crying." Zardoya notes she wrote this song after the passing of Kobe Bryant. She remembers admiring the fog before hearing the news and becoming overwhelmed by the thought of something so peaceful causing such harm.
Like that gentle ballad, "To Say Hello" also reflects Zardoya's R&B melodies entwined with spontaneous Spanish lyrics and rhythms. This element blended with Josh Conway's rock and psychedelic influence marks the hypnotic bliss of The Marías, and in turn Cinema, a soundtrack so cleverly crafted that its transcending ability makes it a film with no visuals needed. This outcome comes full circle as Conway and Zardoya first banded their talents together to create music for tv and film. Now, they are creating vivid imagery of through their music, alone.
The vintage romance feel throughout the project is continued in the "Habla con Ella" interlude, guided by muffled trumpets and teasing at the album's final track, which is titled with the interlude's translation, "Talk to Her." The finale number plays out like a full, untamed jam session as Zardoya recites poetry before marrying her words to melody and joining the band in singing.
Though we can't tell you what it feels like to ascend into the clouds, travel through time, or have any other superpower, we can tell you what it sounds like. The Marías Cinema is the reality-melting, daydream-igniting, cinematic masterpiece we have been itching for. Who knew experiencing that superpower would require nothing more than a pair of headphones, the right album, and a wandering imagination.
Listen to Cinema below: