Much more than a simple “unplugged” version of ‘The Mars Volta’ – the bands self titled seventh album and return as a band – this acoustic rendition furthers the mission of the source music, which drew into sharper focus the traditional Latin influences that have always inspired Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala.
This is, says Rodríguez- López, The Mars Volta’s version of a “folk record”, tracing the melodies and rhythms of the parent album back to their traditional Caribbean roots and challenging listeners to hear the group in an entirely new light.
The upcoming new album isn’t simply more content, but a bold, radical, political album, and one that recontextualizes the music of the group’s powerful last album within the lineage of the Latin and Caribbean sounds that Rodríguez-López has been mining his entire career, only many ears couldn’t hear past the distorted guitars to know what was going on. The songs are re-orchestrated and set to the traditional Caribbean rhythms that Rodríguez-López grew up on. Here, “Black Condolences” becomes an object lesson in this music, segueing between three different traditional rhythms across its three-and-a-half minutes.
For Rodríguez-López, ‘Que Dios Te Maldiga Mi Corazon’ is a long-held dream, finally coming true. “I realized I could finally make a record like this now, I just had to make it happen,” he says. “That was the experiment. And it was super-fun. I feel like The Mars Volta is finally beginning – that’s why the last album was self- titled, because we’ve finally stripped everything away and arrived at what the whole concept was at the beginning. And this acoustic version comes from a profound place, with its own meaning and philosophy, and its own reason for being.”
‘Que Dios Te Maldiga Mi Corazon’ is out April 21, 2023 via Clouds Hill.
Their previous release – the critically acclaimed – ‘The Mars Volta’ is out now and available to stream wherever you consume music. It was the first new music in almost a decade from the band and signified their return. Listen here.
The Mars Volta recently announced a string of upcoming headline tour dates that will take place this May with support from Teri Gender Bender and include shows supporting Red Hot Chili Peppers. Tickets www.themarsvoltaofficial.co.
Formed by guitarist/composer Omar Rodríguez-López and singer/lyricist Cedric Bixler-Zavala, The Mars Volta rose from the ashes of El Paso punk-rock firebrands At The Drive-In in 2001. On a mission to “honor our roots and honor our dead”, The Mars Volta made music that fused the Latin sounds Rodríguez-López was raised on with the punk and underground noise he and Bixler-Zavala had immersed themselves in for years, and the futuristic visions they were tapping into. The albums that followed were one-of-a-kind masterpieces, their songs of breath-taking complexity also possessing powerful emotional immediacy. After the group fell silent, a legion of devotees (including Kanye West) kept up an insistent drum-beat for their return.