Formed last year, the El Paso, TX/Ciudad Juarez, Mexico borderplex trio Estereomance, featuring Adria, Paulina and Manu can trace their origins to several years earlier — to mutual friendships and a serendipitous meeting. In 2017 Adria had a family member, who at the time was battling cancer. Adria and her family hosted a benefit event for that family member — and as it turns out, Manu also attended that same benefit.
Knowing that Adria was going through a difficult time, Manu invited her to hike through the Franklin Mountains during New Year’s 2017/2018. During that hiking trip, the pair got to know each other a bit better. After the Franklin Mountains hiking trip, Manu invited Adria into the studio to record a cover of Cultura Profectica‘s “De Antes” that would be dedicated to her family member. Sadly, that family member succumbed to the disease; but the pair began a musical collaboration that eventually lead to them falling in love. Coincidentally, Estereomance’s Paulina is a mutual friend of both Manu and Adria: Paulina and Adria have been friends for the better part of the past decade, while Manu and Paulina have collaborated on a number of projects, including acts that have been nominated for Latin Grammys — and they’ve also been longtime friends.
Interestingly, when the trio got together to write material, they discovered that they ere all in a similar creative transitional phase, and that they had an immediate chemistry. Since then the band has developed a creative process that has been successful for them: Manu frequently composes beats while having coffee. Paulina then creates improvised ideas to compliment the beats and then Adria comes up with lyrics. Their creative process has largely been created by the bandmembers’ individual experiences and their desire to have their work centered around openness, fearlessness and following what they believe. (Adria is a classically trained violinist and actor, who has performed in orchestras and on stage in plays; Paulina is a vocalist who has performed with a number of different musical projects; and Manu is a bassist, sound engineer and producer, who has worked with an eclectic array of artists at Sonic Ranch Studios.
The trio’s latest single is the lush and slow-burning “Crimson Queen.” Featuring shimmering synth arpeggios, Adria’s achingly plaintive vocals, a two-step inducing rhythm and an enormous hook, “Crimson Queen” is late70s/early 80s inspired synth pop confection that sounds as though it could easily be part of the Stranger Things soundtrack while centered around an unfulfilled yearning. “Through time, women’s worth has long been measured by physical beauty and more recently with rise of social media, quantified by the number of likes i response to it,” the band says in press notes. And as a result the song touches upon the increasing social pressure placed on both men and women to fit into a standardized concept of beauty and attractiveness, as well as vanity, obsession and insecurity.
Directed by Luisa Gonzalez, the recently released video for “Crimson Queen” is a lush, nouvelle vague and 70s inspired fever dream that emphasis the vanity, obsession and insecurity at the heart of the song by following three pageant contestants, whose every quality and imperfection are judged and critiqued.