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Borderland is their new album. PHOTOGRAPHY: Austin Monthly
Borderland is her new album. Photo: Austin Monthly 

Leti Garza, from merengue to intersectional folk

From Austin, Texas, Leti Garza projects her folk energy to cry out that we do not forget those who lose their lives at the border.

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The label "world music" hardly does justice to the radical eclecticism of Leti Garza, who transitions from merengue to folk on the pillar of a powerful and heartfelt voice with a message of social justice.

But the range of genres of new age heritage is concentrated on this occasion to protect the little ones locked up in detention centers, and in tribute to those who give their lives in the harsh existence of the border.

Fans can already enjoy La Empaliza Brown Recluse Remix with Glide Magazine ,as a premiere of the album to be released on March 24. With her powerful voice spurred on and sprinkled in with the electronic rhythms of Michael Ramos, fans are left with a festive and danceable track.

It also serves as a tribute to her aunt, Eva Garza, a famous singer in the late 60s.

The album also stems from her experience at demonstrations in Texas last year and playing at the Tornillo Children's Detention Center in front of tents of locked up children. As such, Garza wants to pay homage and honor the difficult life on the border, as well as draw attention to the whole thing — she was touched by observing those kids, something that is very apparent in the tenderness of the verses on Borderland. It can be purchased here and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Global Response Management solidarity project.

It is very curious that an album of world music makes a local journey, and dives into a very specific folk to rescue it and bring it to the surface to make a colorful map of sounds. It even features melodies from the world of rancheras.

On an intersectional level, in Garza's words, the album seeks to reflect her "belief that human relationships and our mutual responsibilities transcend national borders."

"A central theme of the upcoming album is the imperative to protect the innocent. Most of the songs are originals, many of them reflecting on pain," she said.

"No les olvidamos" shouts theme by theme, each time with different Latin rhythms and different tones from mourning to nostalgia. From boleros to waltz through to cumbia, merengue and Latin Jazz.

Garza has had to fight against numerous difficulties to make her own music and this is appreciated in the vitality and honesty with which she approaches her albums.

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