Portland, Ore.'s Y La Bamba has all the familiar indie folk flourishes that have become a staple of the genre--rattling tambourine, rousing multi-part harmonies, handclaps, even an airy accordion thrown in for good measure. But it's Mexican-American singer Luz Elena Mendoza's soaring vocals interwoven with Spanish lyrics that sets the group apart from its Northwest peers.
On the band's new album, Court the Storm, the group traipses further into the folk field on delicate, echoing tracks like "Hughson Boys," before switching it up with lush Latin-influenced compositions like "Bendito" and "Como Ratones." Produced by Grammy Award-winning Los Lobos member Steve Berlin, Court the Storm also features guest vocals from indie royalty Neko Case on the album's title track.
When the band makes its way back to Boise for Treefort Music Fest, don't miss its haunting new track, "Idaho's Genius," a sparse, heart-wrenching tune that might just become a Treefort anthem, as it swells into a chorus of "we are armies of active minds."