Chiquito has finally arrived. For the last few months, Hawthorne singer-songwriter and lo-fi maverick Cuco has been teasing us with a few tracks from the new project, each of them getting us more and more amped for the full reveal. The six-track EP — which Cuco wrote, produced, mixed, and mastered in his bedroom where he still lives with his family — is out now.
We got to hear a little of the direction Cuco was leaning toward with “Sunnyside,”“CR-V,” and “Lucy.” Chiquito boasts three other tracks that bolster that warbly, slightly off-balance sensibility Cuco has become known for — basically, the audio version of sitting in a smoke-filled room. Chiquito offers a few previously released songs, like 2017’s “Dontmakemefallinlove,” a sinewy break-up song that continues showing off a sentimental side Cuco has never shied away from. There’s also “Mi Infinita,” which features Cuco singing in Spanish. J-Kwe$t, the rapper on “Lucy,” reappears to hype up “Summer Time High Time,” a track Cuco has been performing live on tour, and one that couldn’t be more aptly titled.
While Chiquito is full of songs that often feel hazy and light, Cuco has shared that there are some dark moments tucked into the tracks. On Twitter, Cuco said this year has been a difficult one, and you can hear this in the unsteadiness of certain production choices, in the wooziness that trends into haunting territory. But he’s found a way to bring his complexity into the music and imbue it with a sense of depth and vulnerability.
“After I lost my mind so many times over the last year and dealt with excessive substance abuse and was consumed by every demon in me I’ve cleaned myself up and put myself on a clearer path to a healthier life. I’m no where near mentally stable yet but I’m taking the first steps,” Cuco wrote on Twitter earlier this week. “Although this whole industry/artist realm is insane, stressful, draining etc., I am eternally grateful for all the support I have and everyone around me; you help me help those around me and make me feel like more than I could ever see myself as for following my passions.”
Cuco’s Chiquito EP is out now. Stream it above.