From her radio famous single, Empty Sheets to her explosive debut album, Ruin the Party, LOURDES has certainly come a long way; and has even dropped her last name while she’s at it.
Proving one name is all she needs to establish her identity as a singer-songwriter, LOURDES reveals a sound that’s new and different from all the years she’s been performing live. This neo-soul and R&B sound reminiscent of the 90’s was there all along. All it needed was a bit of fine-tuning and a clear direction by a master at her craft. That someone is Music Producer Cattski Espina, who pulled back the veil and brought out LOURDES who was more than ready to take her throne.
Ruin the Party kicks off with its title track, teasing listeners of the treat that’s coming. Witty and fun with honest confessions of loneliness and ‘backreading old conversations,’ Ruin the Party is for anyone who’s mending a broken heart by moving on with that person who can’t hurt them – a stranger. 2 Cents continues the easygoing vibe by declaring this girl does not give a rat’s ass about people’s unsolicited opinions. The next two tracks, Man Who Couldn’t Stay and Save Someday showcase LOURDES’ ability to write smart, heart-wrenching lyrics with melodies that are hard to forget. Segueing into a brighter tune, the young singer-songwriter got a little help from her friends and fellow artists like Vincent Eco and Kyle Wong of the Wonggoys, for Start A Fire. It’s an uplifting celebration of everything good and exciting about beginning a journey with someone or even coming together as a community. It lights up with beautiful harmonies. It is joy made audible.
Halfway through the record is Sad Parts, a song that, according to LOURDES, encapsulates who she is as a person. Her yearning as she sings, “I long to be proud and free / Just be me unapologetically / But you see, joke’s on me, joke’s on me,” is cradled in a melody that echoes the melancholy of old jazz. With hints of Corinne Bailey Rae, Sad Parts is a standout track that proves LOURDES’ range in musicality and gift for brilliant songwriting, as well as Cattski’s on-the-money ability to serve the song in the best way.
F*ck Feelings follows and offers the opposite energy as suggested by the title alone. It’s that eyebrow-raising, hair-flipping, and dance-like-nobody’s-watching anthem you never knew you needed. The specific juxtaposition between Sad Parts and F*ck Feelings highlights the singular theme of the entire record in three words: courage in vulnerability. This is what LOURDES embodies and it can be heard in her songs individually and collectively.
Ruin the Party continues to take listeners on a ride of highs and lows with Cheers’ sad sarcasm, Vagina Song’s empowering message, and Linger’s easy groove that delivers a profound inquiry. The record closes with an alternative acoustic version of F*ck Feelings, reinforcing the fact that the song stripped down is just as f*ckin’ awesome.
The queen has indeed come to ruin the party. And her name is LOURDES.