Fuga's message breaks free to survive
"Puente Negro," a fast-paced cumbia which opens Desde la Frontera, the debut album from El Paso-based Fuga, makes the band's purpose clear: "Aquí nuestras verdades cantamos/de los que vivimos nosotros a diario" ("we sing our truths here/about what we live on a daily basis") lead vocalist Tania intones, before launching into a call-and-response litany of the conditions they face and the causes of them. On "Cruzando La Frontera" she offers a prayer for protection from the perspective of a mother about to cross over, a bittersweet despedida set to a driving beat.
Kiko, the group's accordion player, joins Tania on a number of tracks (and solos on a few where she doesn't perform). The two perfectly complement each other. Her graceful, haunting voice - just listen to her carry an extended note to its fullest - is balanced by his, sincere and simpatico, much like his expressionistic accordion playing which elevates even the simplest of melodies, like "Prende La Vela," into so much more.