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Review: The Echocentrics, 'Echo Hotel'

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

The Echocentrics, <em>Echo Hotel</em>
/ Courtesy of the artist
The Echocentrics, <em>Echo Hotel</em>

We've noted before on NPR Music's Alt.Latino that producer Adrian Quesada has so many ideas flowing through his head, he keeps a handful of bands busy setting his brainstorms to music.

The Texan has funkified Ozzy Osbourne with Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath and created cumbia/funk/soul with Ocote Soul Sounds alongside collaborator Martin Perna, to cite just two examples. On Echo Hotel, Quesada turns his vision into a slow ride in a convertible across the Southwestern desert with the help of another one of his bands, The Echocentrics.

Echo Hotel captures a stunning mix of twangy guitars, stories set to music with the dust of the desert in between the lines, and haunting vocal performances by Argentina's Natalia Clavier, Tita Lima from Brazil and Alex Maas (Black Angels). Listening is like stepping into an alternate reality — an unhurried place with plenty of time to contemplate love, loss and longtime friends.

Throughout Echo Hotel, sound flows seamlessly to convey time, place and perspective. It's like sitting next to someone with a few lines on his face as he tells stories from his life in his own voice. Even if he's making them up, Quesada is a tremendous storyteller, and Echo Hotel represents a significant contribution to his growing legacy.

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