When it comes to music, many of us like to stay within our comfort zones. We each can be defined, and define ourselves, by our lyrical indulgences. Our tastes in tunes reflect the spectrum of our personalities and emotions, an operation that allows us to feel unique (even if that may be, in fact, only an illusion). Be it a Blues and Hip-Hop lover, or a Country and Metal fan, our range of interests often lets us symbolize ourselves with another’s poetry. We can represent with songs a score of feelings that makes us actually feel… something… in a world in which we continue to slowly slip away from human connections.
So we tend to be attracted to what we know, to what our Facebook friends know, to the familiar, even when the familiar has found a new form. But what we might miss are those unconventional artists that don’t seem to have a place within the genre list on iTunes.
Duo del Sol falls into this category.
While the string duo has a spot in the Latin set, can claim a small corner of classical and has its own status in the jazz scene, it is difficult to truly define their sound, or be defined by it.
What the music of Duo del Sol does is define moments. Their first album, Mirá, gave us a channel for enthusiasm and invigoration with its mix of animated string and intermittent percussion. The spirited melodies are the kind that dance around in your mind long after the song is done. Tunes like Mirá and Panic That Way pop up again when you least expect it to act as the soundtrack to an inspirational impulse or a burst of energy.
However, their latest album, hello Kaleidoscope, delivers something very different. Though only two of the songs truly include vocals, one of which is the beautiful original ballad Me Hace Bien, the remaining nine tracks tell a thousand stories without a single word. The sometimes solemn, often intense, always emotionally vibrating melodies go deeper, and perhaps a little darker, into the depths of one’s psyche. While lyrics allow us to visualize the tales that popular music chooses to tell, it’s the sounds within songs like Never the Same River Twice and Clusterfük that take us down a path of fables of our creation. But go with caution. While with classic genres you generally know what you are in for, the music of hello Kaleidoscope paints a slowly swirling tornado of imagery and emotion, which may surface something surprising from inside. But it is well worth the journey, an opportunity to explore beneath the surface of your own soul, if you dare to go.