Las Palabras is the solo project of Rafael Cohen, better known as a core member of !!! (chk chk chk), and working on releases from artists like The Rapture and Q and Not You. He has announced the release of the self-titled debut album which will be out on October 23rd via Brassland (The National, This Is The Kit, Bartees Strange, Buke & Gase).
“With these songs, I am trying to sing in Spanish for the first time in my life,” Cohen explains. “Since I left Mexico when I was 9 my vocabulary in Spanish is less extensive than in English, so the songs are simple. I kept at it as you do when you stumble across making a style of music that you’ve never made before but admired. I ended up recording this record over a couple of years and stuck to basic themes: coffee, basketball, messy rooms, though there were a couple of songs where I had to ask my dad to check my grammar.”
“Juan Pared” is the first excerpt. “‘Juan Pared’ is a song about Washington Wizards point guard John Wall,” says Cohen. “In general, it was inspired by the Brazilian tradition of writing music about sports and sports figures, but even more specifically it was inspired by the Jorge Ben’s “Filho Maravilha,” his song about a soccer player by the name of João Batista de Sales better known as Fio Maravilha. I grew up in Washington, DC and for over 30 years the Wizards have been my favorite, long-suffering basketball team. They probably won’t win a championship any time so I hope this song is a small consolation prize.”
Watch the official video below.