Rather than a set of songs, think of Colombian-born, Berlin-based artist Lucrecia Dalt’s eighth album, ¡Ay!, as a room cast in sound: smokey, low-lit, seductive but vaguely threatening; a place where fantasy and reality meet in deep, inky shadow. Dalt’s takes on the bolero, son, ranchera, and merengue that form the romantic spine of Latin pop are genuine enough to feel folkloric and off-kilter enough to conjure the art and experimental music she’s known for—a contrast that pulls ¡Ay! along on its hovering, dreamlike course. Squint and you can imagine hearing “Dicen” in a dusty bar somewhere or swaying to “La Desmesura” or “Bochinche.” But like the great exotica artists of the ’50s, Dalt teeters between the foreign and the comforting so gracefully, you don’t recognize how strange she is until you’re in her pocket. ¡Ay! is lounge music for the beyond.

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