Dialect of Faith
Court the Storm
Portland sextet Y La Bamba's Court the Storm reveals an indie pop savvy that’s evident right out of the gate with opening song, “Squawk.” Over Latin percussion and Spanish-flavored guitar, Luz Elena Mendoza sings fluttered cascading melodies similar to those of Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman, Angel Deradoorian, and Haley Dekle. “Bendito” serves up a sultry and seductive song with stuttered guitar strumming, distorted bass, and prominent accordions pumping to coital rhythms. Over that, Mendoza and guitarist Paul Cameron sing airtight harmonies with a feverishly amorous tension. The bewitching “Moral Panic” eschews the band’s savory Latin trappings to play like the kind of early-'00s psychedelic folk song that would have made the pages of Arthur magazine. “Hughson Boys” takes a similar detour, with nimbly fingerpicked acoustic fretboard runs as Mendoza and Cameron sing in close harmony. Saving the best for last, Mendoza begins the title track singing an ethereal trill over guitar before more vocals and instruments are gradually layered in, creating a lush masterwork.