Lhasa de Sela (September 27, 1972 – January 1, 2010)

Breast cancer.

My inaugural post is a serious bummer.  Some of you know that Lhasa was my top pick for best album of 2009, which makes this sort of a re-post, but I can’t recommend her enough.

From the NYT obit:

Born in the small Catskills town of Big Indian, N.Y., in 1972, to a Mexican father and an American mother, she had a nomadic childhood and began singing in San Francisco when she was 13.

By the early 1990s she was living in Montreal, where, she told an interviewer in 2004, she performed in bars and learned “how to reach people, even people who were there for beer and conversation.” She was soon reaching hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

Though difficult to pigeonhole, Ms. de Sela’s songs were most often classified as world music.  Her Spanish-language debut album, “La Llorona,” released in 1997, won a Juno, Canada’s equivalent of the Grammy, in the “global” category. Her trilingual second album, “The Living Road” (2003), was named one of the 10 best world music albums of the decade by The Times of London.

Her third and final album, “Lhasa,” recorded entirely in English, was released last year.

Watch! (youtube)  This clip was filmed by Vincent Moon on April 11, 2009 in “the Loft” at Montreal.


Con toda palabra, from The Living Road (2oo3)
The Lonely Spider, from Lhasa (2009)

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2 Responses to Lhasa de Sela (September 27, 1972 – January 1, 2010)

  1. David G says:

    Bummer. Some great tracks, though. I think the Times obit is pretty far off with its Edith Piaf comparison, though.

    • Agreed. Not really sure who their source for that was.

      That video is pretty neat if you haven’t checked it out. Close-ups and shallow focus gives the illusion of intimacy. I found clips of a bunch of the other songs in that set as well, though I was looking for “I’m Going In” and couldn’t find that.

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