The solo debut by Maria Usbeck is a collection of songs written across the span of three years in Ecuador, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Barcelona, Lisbon, Easter Island, Costa Rica, Florida, L.A. and her home in Brooklyn. Though the songs were composed electronically, Amparo called for an acoustic treatment, so Maria spent a winter in the studio recording the arrangements live with producer Caroline Polachek and engineer Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson.
The backbone of Amparo is percussion, vibrating throughout with timbales, tumbas, a talking drum, bongos, shakers and an Indian flat drum, with gaps filled in by her field recordings of birds, beaches and jungles. The songs were written and recorded chronologically, with the exception of her cover of Colourbox’s 'Tarantula' which was reimagined in Spanish.
Emotively, Usbeck a magnetic narrator throughout, moving between whispers, chants and lullabies. Amparo pulses with many stories in many voices, but they flow together seamlessly like water, leaving behind a wordless hum.