Ever since we heard the sliding horns of 2014’s “Sorry I Stole Your Man,” we’ve paid witness to Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas’ experimentations with soul and burlesque rock ’n’ roll. Now, that distinctive sound is being employed to explore the resistant power of language. The group’s flaming performance of “Colibri” at Ruido Fest last weekend in the city’s Pilsen neighborhood was a live look at this year’s bilingual Telephone/Teléfono double album. Hernandez (whose parents are Cuban and Mexican) decided to go to Mexico City to record the Spanish version of Telephone as a show of pride in response to anti-Latino vitriol in today’s political drivel — sorry, discourse. Teléfono also saw the group make key changes in the songs’ composition, some inspired by the retool’s chilango surroundings.
The video for the album’s newest single, “Bad At Loving You,” underlines Hernandez’s potency as a charismatic, probing frontperson, someone born to wield the microphone in front of an adoring crowd. It’s a straight-up bar performance clip, the camera only cutting away from the boxy metallic jacket-clad singer’s mesmerizing bop for meaty character shots of the watering hole’s other occupants. Closeups on the singer reveal a stern composure, her convincing deadpan delivering verses about romantic failure in a manner that seems refreshingly free of self-doubt.
“I wanted the video for ‘Bad At Loving You’ to be a simple performance video that felt cinematic and timeless,” Hernandez told Remezcla over email, adding that the shoot was influenced by “Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, Blondie and late 70s/early 80s music videos.” Success — the restrained cinematic glow is enough to make you wish there was a double version of the clip for its Spanish-language version on Teléfono.
Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas’ Telephone/Teléfono is out now on Instant Records. Catch the band live on one of their tour dates below.
9/5 – Tucson, AZ / Flycatcher
9/7 – Sante Fe, NM / Meow Wolf
9/8 – Phoenix, AZ / Rebel Lounge
9/9 – San Bernardino, CA / High and Low Festival
9/10 – Las Vegas, NV / Bunkhouse Saloon
9/12 – San Francisco, CA / Rickshaw Stop
9/14 – Seattle, WA / Columbia City Theatre
9/16 – Portland, OR / Mississippi Studios
9/17 – Boise, ID / Neurolux
9/19 – Denver, CO / Globe Hall
9/21 – Davenport, IA / Raccoon Motel
9/22 – Chicago, IL / Beat Kitchen