Listening to Que Bonita’s intro, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d started the wrong song. For half a minute, we’re given a solo performance from vocalist Amy Gill, paired fleetingly with guitarist Juan Carmona’s flamenco licks.
It’s a trick Kanye West goes back to again and again. Shine the spotlight on your songs’ standout elements, show them the respect they deserve, then slowly fold them into the rest of the track.
Particularly in the case of Carmona, his plucking is enveloped into a rolling tapestry of groove. He continues to join in playfully under the main beat, a contrasting texture to the rubbery, strutting bass, sun-soaked synth and endless layers of percussion.
In fact, I’ve heard it said that there’s no such thing as a passive audience during a Flamenco performance – a sentiment this track certainly shares. Organic claps, kicks and bubbling background chatter lace the tune, leaving you feeling like you’re already on the dancefloor.
Amy’s voice shines through all of it. She joins the long line of women who completely elevate dance tracks with superb performances. Her timbre (but maybe more so her lyrics) shares a lot with Jessie Ware on last year’s ‘What’s Your Pleasure’. Both sigh seductively over dappled synths, delivering commanding – if understated – performances.
But the DNA of ‘Que Bonita’ is more Balearic beat than disco bop, and since we won’t be dancing on Ibiza’s shores for at least another year, it’s pure escapism. Nevertheless, True Religion has cooked up something deliciously danceable, and we’re here for it.
If you want to stay locked into the groove, you can find True Faith at the links below:
Words by Nathan Makalena