By Carlos Reyes
Carla Morrison is a young talented lady from Tecate Baja California, a fresh face with a remarkable and comforting voice who’s quietly making her way into the realm of Mexican pop. She’s the owner of a heart-trenching vocal instrument, which she radiantly displays through beautiful intimate songs. It’s been two years since we first felt in love with her talent; a jaw-dropping performance by Babaluca, her Phoenix-based bilingual band which has been dissolved as Morrison embarks a solo career. It was only natural (and auspicious) for her career to move forward, just watching her perform Manu Chao’s “La Despedida” so disturbingly beautiful is enough to describe her as an infrequent talent. Aprendiendo a Aprender is a rich and quick album holding stunning tracks on a low-key temper; it shines in/on its own simplicity while holding enigmatic tissue to resolve its improvised production.
From start to finish, the EP feels like a nuanced engrossing set of emotional templates showcasing her most noticeable influences, from Patsy Cline to Lola Beltran, while sounding truly contemporary. Production-wise, Aprendiendo a Aprender needs sophistication and most songs could sound like demos to the average listener, but never unfinished. Minimal studio-hand only makes these songs display themselves as the naturally engaging pieces they are. I can’t help but think of Carla as Mexico’s La Bien Querida, Aprendiendo a Aprender equaling Maqueta, and if I’m right on my conjecture, Carla’s next album should deliver something as overwhelming as Romancero. In the meantime, this EP demonstrates artistic bravura; it’s full of heartfelt snapshots preciously framed by texture rather than instruments.
Although impossible on its premise, her cover of Ramon Ayala’s “Tragos de Amargo Licor” is deeply moving, it keeps the cantina desolation of Ranchero songs and through her gifted voice, it let’s this heart-warming tune go beyond its own measures of depth. “Valentina” stirs love as a lullaby and it really touches the heart, “te velare el sueño te arrullare a dormir.” In “Buena Malicia”, she sounds really contemporary in a very nice, Natalia Lafourcade kind of way. Her chances on commercial success are hard to forecast, but she’s got crowd-pleasing charms and like her songs, her talent feels so reachable. Aprendiendo a Aprender plays especially well on the intimacy of your room, in fact, it’s so unrelenting that it’s important to build a relationship to appreciate just how well polished it is.
“Estas Lagrimas” is a strong contender for tear-drop song of the year, it’s insightful and genuine, “son estas lagrimas que escurren mis cachetitos, tienen propio lenguaje amigas de mi corazoncito.” She makes a vehicle out of the song and drives it around giving multiple meanings to watery eyes. “Esta Soledad” is also fascinating; in big part because it sure feels like she defies the norm making a legit Ranchero song, you know, unlike those forced songs by La Quinta Cancion. Perhaps the most memorable moment arrives with “Nunca Me Dejes”, a lyrical knockout on the piano where she pleads her love to never abandon her, I always get chills with this one; “mis ojos no conocerán la sequia, mis pensamientos darán vueltas alrededor de ti, mi corazón se encogerá, mi ser será un delirio.” By far, it’s one of the most impressive breakthroughs of the year and a novelty/revelation of all sort, can’t wait for what’s coming.