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.”
We already shared “Juan Pared”; “Condesa” is a new excerpt. “Condesa is a neighborhood in Mexico City that’s roughly equivalent to Williamsburg, the Brooklyn neighborhood that I’ve called home for a few decades,” Cohen explains.
“Back in the 1930s and ’40s Condesa and Williamsburg were both Jewish enclaves and today both are known as hipster neighborhoods. A few years ago, its sister neighborhood Roma became familiar to most cinephiles in 2018 when the film of the same name won Oscar’s for best foreign picture and best director for Alfonso Cuarón. Condesa is that neighborhood’s more laid-back cousin. A few years ago, I was in Mexico City playing a show with !!! and I saw a guy pushing a stroller with a baby around the same age as my daughter. He looked about my age and I imagined he was me if I had never left Mexico City when I was 10 years old, which is what inspired this song.“