First albums are always tricky, especially when you’re a young artist trying to make your own path and cut through the noise in the 2020 musical landscape. Many have a lot to say in a relatively short amount of time when compared to the years’ worth of ideas they have bottled up inside them, and their influences tend to be abundant and varied. So, for Loyal Lobos to come up with such a cohesive body of work as her debut full-length Everlasting, where genres are weaved so seamlessly, it shouldn’t go unnoticed.
Colombia-born singer/songwriter Andrea Silva relocated to Los Angeles when she turned 18 years old, bringing her education in jazz, Latin American folk, and choral music in her bag. She cut her teeth performing under her own name in the local scene, finally adopting the Loyal Lobos moniker after finding her place among likeminded musicians who helped her develop her style.
Back in 2018, she bashfully entered the room with a five-track EP titled The Fall, mostly devoted to pop-rock compositions that represent a perfect introduction to her folky sensibilities and swooning melodies. But it was through working in the studio with producer Evan Voytas that she found the perfect collaborator to help her realize her vision and shape the entire sound of Everlasting. The album was rounded up by input from executive producer Teddy Geiger, who’s known for her work with Shawn Mendez, Leon Bridges, and Lizzo.
As an album, Everlasting is dressed in reverb and grandeur from head to toe. Silva’s ambitious and adventurous nature can be felt even in the most intimate of the ten songs here included, all of which will most likely be described as dreamy time and time again. Sonically, it’s built to instantly evoke nostalgia, powerfully amplified by Silva’s gorgeous velvety voice, which she often layers for emotive purposes, and she does so successfully.
Opener “Whatever It Is” begins as an acoustic ballad solely featuring a guitar and vocals, but quickly turns into a cavernous rock-laden jam, a taste of how she uses dynamics as a trusty vehicle for storytelling on the album. When “Spring ‘17” comes up next with its drum machine-led beat and shoegazing aesthetics that builds up and up, the genres have officially been blurred on Everlasting. Later on, we can find tropical-inspired moments like “Papel” and the horn-embellished “Rosas Negras,” the magical folk of “Sofía,” and epic ballads like the title track.
Lyrically, Silva taps into personal sources such as childhood memories, insecurities, or fleeting romance in both English and Spanish. She feels the most successful when she brings her own womanhood front and center with few filters, like she does on the catchy “Si Te Portas Mal (Be Bad),” a song she uses to heal by opening old wounds caused by slut-shaming experiences; or “Criminals,” where she sings about female friendship so passionately it’s contagious.
On Everlasting, Loyal Lobos sounds confident and shows that she has a very clear vision. What this album is already telling us is that Silva wants to try whatever she feels like trying, and she’s going to make it sound coherent and mesmerizing–the Loyal Lobos way.