Conceived in the 1980s in Mexico and brought to California through the border inside of his 6-month-pregnant mother, Rudy de Anda is releasing his debut solo record, a love letter to the long historical lineage of rock ’n’ roll music as interpreted through his multicultural lens. “I write my own story, I don’t want to be defined by any scene” De Anda proclaims of his personal journey, and his ability to adapt and flit between cities and cultures is part of why L.A. Record has called his sound “deliberately difficult to classify, familiar but novel at the same time.”
De Anda’s origin story counts more locations than most and setting the scene is a perilous endeavor: his early childhood in Compton was interrupted by the L.A. Riots that pushed his family to relocate to Long Beach, where De Anda stayed only temporarily before catching the chickenpox and being sent to his grandmother’s house in Mexico, where he lived for three months. Only upon his return did De Anda begin to lay roots in the city he still calls home. From playing soccer to getting into dumpster-cage fights (over cilantro) at his Whole Foods job, De Anda always circled back to music as a means to express these experiences that inspired him. A solo trip to Chile – to go see Spanish musician El Guincho perform – with no cell phone or credit card proved especially influential, and made De Anda realize the profound impact of Latin music on his adult life. In the midst of ceaseless moves, a constant in De Anda’s history was the omnipresent soundtrack in his Hispanic household: from rock and bossa nova, to crooners, ballads and even traditional Mexican music. These sounds of his roots and the angst of the punk bands he embraced as a teenager would soon intertwine harmoniously.
Since 2005, De Anda has played thousands of shows in various musical projects, but with Tender Epoch, tellingly the first recorded under his own name, he has clearly found his own voice with a wealth of stories to spotlight. It’s exquisitely crafted pop, with universal messages of heartbreak and loss that still feel appropriate played speeding windows-down on the highway in the coastal sunshine. Above all, De Anda likes to keep people guessing: from the album artwork to the multi-faceted textures of sound, Tender Epoch feels ambiguous to any era, a perfect collusion of old and new that showcases a music historian’s knowledge of both past greats and influential peers. Sculpting his own path through a wild ride that feels unlikely to let up, De Anda refuses to settle down or get comfortable, instead carving out a classic record that is sure to set a standard for songwriting to come.
Rudy de Anda’s Tender Epoch LP will be available on vinyl, CD, cassette and digtial/streaming platforms September 18th via Karma Chief Records. There will also be a limited indie-exclusive Topo Chico bottle clear vinyl edition and a limited Rough Trade exclusive random colored vinyl.
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