by Danielle Holian
photo credit: Camilo Fuentealba
Visionary musician and singer, Xenia Rubinos’, debut album on ANTI, Black Terry Cat is to be released on June 3rd.
The New Yorker has illustrated the soulful and unique sound as a “rhythmically fierce, vocally generous music that slips through the net of any known genre.”
SPIN premiered the track “Lonely Lovers” from the album.
Rubinos says; “Black Terry Cat is a #browngirlmagic carpet ride powered by deep pocket backbeats and funky bass lines. “Lonely Lover” is the first full song I finished for the album – it was a real breakthrough where I felt like I’d created my own sound, and became kind of my mantra for making the rest of the album. I was listening to a lot of R&B, hip hop, rap, digging into black culture in America as well as the Afro Latin diaspora which I’m a part of.”
“With the vocals I got into this spooky romantic zone thinking of singers like Billie Holiday, Judy Garland and the funk of Chaka Khan,” she explains, “I was channeling all those singers but then ended up redoing the vocals on my own in my kitchen because they just weren’t feeling honest. So I took a bottle of Aguardiente and started doing vocal takes. I lit papers on fire to get a smokey smell around me and thought that instead of emulating these other high priestesses I should create my own voice and find my own way to say my piece. I’m really proud of the result.”
Marco Buccelli, longtime drummer and producer of the album, and Jeremy Loucas, the engineer, are names on Rubinos’ new record. For five months the trio worked an average of 16-17 hours a day to complete the album.
Rubinos details the cover photo of a smiling girl with a bow in her hair and a gap toothed, “NYC street photographer Joseph Rodriguez’s picture of “Girl in Blue Dress” taken in Spanish Harlem in 1988 felt like the perfect soulful hostess for my album. I imagine this girl and the record itself exploring this special mojo where things work in unexpected ways that may be less conventional but are beautiful and captivating.”
Track Listing for Black Terry Cat:
Romeo – 0:23
Don’t Wanna Be – 4:35
Mexican Chef – 3:49
Black Stars – 3:59
Just Like I – 2:54
Right? – 4:18
5 – 2:07
Lonely Lover – 4:24
Laugh Clown – 4:04
I Won’t Say – 3:26
LL – 0:53
See Them – 5:00
Now Ur Being the Girl – 0:24
How Strange It Is – 3:12