Meaning ‘love is no coward'
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pioneering Americana artist, songwriter, and producer, Lisa Morales announces the release of her first all Spanish-language project El Amor No Es Cobarde, slated for release on May 5 (Cinco de Mayo).
“El Amor No Es Cobarde means ‘love is no coward,’” says Morales, who — like her cousin Linda Ronstadt — grew up in a musical family, performing traditional Mexican music.
The new collection honors Morales’ heritage, nodding to beautiful Mexican Boleros, Son Huastecos, Baladas, and Rumbas.
“I was raised listening to beautiful Mexican boleros, especially on Sundays, a lot of them had the amazing guitar work of Trio Los Panchos. My parents used to dance in the living room to boleros so I would watch how they fell into the emotion of the songs — the intro chords came into my head first, and then the song practically wrote itself,” she says.
“Sirena” (“Mermaid”) reflects the Son Huasteco and Huapango styles, which speak to the regional folk music style from the Gulf Coast-region state of Veracruz and Sonora, Mexico (where Morales’ family is from).
“When a Son Huasteco (or Huapango) style song was played, my family would get up and dance. This is a tip of the hat to these beautiful styles. I had started the chorus — I kept singing ‘Sirena’ in my head and brought it to the ranch where my producer Davíd Garza (Fiona Apple, Sharon Van Etten) and I would exchange thoughts in the mornings before working on other songs. It’s a playful song about the Mermaid of the Sea who men can’t help but fall in love with.”
The collection moves into the heartfelt “Hermana” (“sister”), a tribute to Morales’ late sister Roberta who passed away from cancer in August 2021.
Morales commented, “We were beyond sisters and best friends. People thought we were twins, but she was my big sister. We worked with each other in music since we were four and five; we traveled all over the world as ‘Sisters Morales.’ We created our own sound and refused to change our last name to something that ‘wasn’t Mexican.’ It felt like we were taking on the world together. We combined country, rock, and traditional Mexican music by adding rock and blues elements to our songs. This song is so special. As I listen, I feel a deep sense of loss — she understood me better than anyone. While it’s an incredibly personal song reflecting love and grief, I know there are others who will be able to relate to these feelings and I hope it brings comfort.”
With “Magdalena,” Morales explores another form of sisterhood, women supporting women, through the Biblical character Mary Magdalene. “‘Magdalena’ is about women reaching out to women, helping each other, most importantly communicating with each other. We need to teach our daughters to be kinder to each other. Women divide themselves over men when they should align themselves and warn each other,” says Morales. “I grew up having mostly male friends. And they are wonderful, but there is something special in women being more like sisters to each other.”
“I thought about girls in high school who were having trouble at home, how we should have tried to protect them. I thought about Mary Magdalene. Was she having trouble at home? We have to protect our girls, our women. This song is my tribute to empowering women.”
El Amor No Es Cobarde track listing:
1. Suéltame (Bolero)
2. Sirena (Son Huasteco)
3. Hermana (Balada)
4. Magdalena (Rumba)
With a new EP on the horizon, Morales, a prolific “storyteller” (Albuquerque Journal), “one of the most multifaceted artists to watch” (Rolling Stone), and an artist who “knows her way around a song” (Rodney Crowell), heads back out on the road for a string of tour dates following a west coast run which included an April 7th performance on Watkins Family Hour with Ben Lee and Marcus Mumford at Los Angeles’ Largo at the Coronet, and two sold-out shows with Los Lobos and Rodney Crowell, respectively.
5/29 Tucson AZ – 191 Toole
6/17 Galveston, TX – Old Quarter Acoustic Café
About Lisa Morales:
Lisa Morales is “one of the most multifaceted artists to watch” (Rolling Stone) who produced Hayes Carll’s debut album and Rodney Crowell says she “knows her way around a song.” With a new Spanish-language EP coming out on May 5, Mexican-American vocalist, producer, and songwriter, Lisa Morales, follows her March 11 Rain in the Desert EP.
Rain in the Desert was produced by noted singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Davíd Garza, who is also featured on lead guitar, bass, and keys; Morales on acoustic guitar, Tim Lefebvre on bass, Rachel Eckroth on keys, and drummer Beth Goodfellow. It was recorded at the renowned Sonic Ranch Recording Studio in Tornillo, Texas, which gave Morales an isolated and creative environment to focus on making music.
The Rain in the Desert EP, and her May 5 El Amor No Es Cobarde, maintain the high standard of emotional forthrightness that Morales established in her earlier solo efforts Beautiful Mistake and Luna Negra & the Daughter of the Sun.
Like her cousin Linda Ronstadt, Morales and her sister Roberta grew up in a musical family in Tucson, Arizona, learning to perform traditional Mexican music while developing broad-ranging musical taste prior to moving to Texas. She recorded six albums as “Sisters Morales,” the beloved sibling duo in which she partnered with Roberta, who passed away from cancer in August 2021.
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