The beguiling Mexican indie singer Carla Morrison is featured singing in en Español on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘ upcoming sophomore LP, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made. And, simply put, “She shined,” Lewis told Billboard of the singer’s performance on “The Train,” one of the album’s 13 tracks.
“I think there were a couple reasons why having her sing in Spanish made sense for ‘The Train,'” Lewis said, adding that when the session began Morrison sang in English before Spanish gradually took over. “First and foremost, she sounded phenomenal. We also thought Spanish sounded more beautiful than the English versions. Three, we didn’t make a super complicated chorus, most people can pick up nuggets of the lyrics even if they aren’t bilingual. Four, probably my favorite reason, it’s purposely less specific, especially if you don’t know Spanish. If you don’t speak Spanish, it allows for a level of ambiguity where you’re truly just falling into her voice, the sound and the mood.
“That was my experience. The mystery of what she might be sharing with me, an English speaking listener, only added to what I wanted for the song.”
Morrison, one of Latin alternative music’s most original voices, followed up her emotional Latin Grammy-winning debut, Dejenme Llorar, with 2015’s spare and affecting electro-acoustic set Amor Supremo. She will perform at Coachella for the first time on April 15.
Lewis explained that the collaboration with Morrison came about after a friend played the Mexican indie artist’s music for him.
“The timbre and idiosyncrasies of her voice stood out,” he said. “Ben and I were still working on hooks for a few different songs on the album. He also fell in love with her voice, so we pulled a Hail Mary and gave her a call. Her and her team flew up from Mexico City and we tried a few different things. She was great to work with. Where we landed, ‘The Train,’ was what I really wanted and happy I got, letting her vocals take over in a more under-produced space.”