Malena Cadiz makes folk music that feels like fine linen, embroidered with the confessions and observations of a writer with a curious eye and empathetic heart.
Released last month, “Hellbent & Moonbound,” which derives its title from the 1976 Ada Limon poem “Drift,” is Cadiz’s fourth album and first in seven years. It follows a time during which she moved across the country, became a mother, juggled odd jobs and spent plnety of hours soul-searching. “I found solace in being creative,” she says. “I’d gone through so many transitions — it was a moment to be still and examine who and how I wanted to be, letting go of anything that wasn’t serving me, and leaning into what was … it’s been a long marinating process.”
The album was made with producer Andrew Lappin (L’Rain, Madison McFerrin, among others) and includes an estimable cast of L.A. studio musicians, including Jason Abraham Roberts, Ray Suen, Leeann Skoda, Matt Musty, Pat Kelly, Sam Kauffman-Skloff and Bryan Senti.
Among the highlights are “Call It a Night,” a rumination doing the best you can; the harp- and horn-adorned “Getting By;” and “Shatter,” a song about not just searching for the truth but wanting to “look into its fiery eyes / step right through to the other side / and see if I don’t shatter.
Cadiz’s vocals have drawn comparisons to the likes of Laura Marling, Jessica Pratt, Joanna Newsom, Feist and a host of others. On the painstakingly orchestrated “Hellbent & Moonbound,” her voice truly shines.
||| Watch: The videos for “Call It a Night” and “Easy”
||| Stream: “Hellbent & Moonbound” in its entirety
||| Live: Malena Cadiz celebrates her album release with a show Sunday, Dec. 3 at Gold-Diggers, with Clara-Nova opening. Tickets
||| Previously: “At the Symphony”