The artist known as Alex Cuba (née Puentes) says he was inspired by the mid-Century Havana lounge style know as filin when he wrote the songs on his upcoming album, Lo Unico Constante.
“This album pays tribute to all of the great songwriters, musicians and singers of the filin movement to which I was exposed through my father [guitarist] Valentin Puentes,” Cuba tells Billboard. “I learned from these musicians to create music without superficiality, and that is what ‘Lo Único Constante’ is all about. Reaching the heart with total honesty and nakedness.”
On the album’s sweet first single, “Todas Las Cabezas Están Locas,” Cuba’s spare-but-swinging guitar and upright bass give a subtle nod to that jazz vocal-influenced style, but its sound descends more directly from Cuba’s contemporary novisima trova folk-rock style.
“Todas Las Cabezas Están Locas” was previously released as a salsa track in collaboration with the Venezuelan group Guaco. In this new version, Cuba’s recorded it as a rootsy pop song that, as the video suggests, could warm up even the coldest of days (and you can take that literally and figuratively).
Lo Unico Constante is set for release April 7; Cuba will perform “Todas Las Cabezas Están Locas” and other new songs at SXSW, and on a tour of the following North American cities:
March 1 – Ottawa, Blues Festival Fundraiser
March 2 – Montreal En Lumiere, Club Soda
April 8 – Toronto, Keorner Hall
April 11 – New York, Joes Pub
April 13 – Oakland,The New Parish
April 15 – Los Angeles,The Mint