San Francisco’s soul-rock band The Soft White Sixties recently made a move to Los Angeles — and while this relocation certainly factors into the subject matter on their upcoming album, Alta California, it’s not the only thing on the band’s minds.
Their new album, due out August 10th, was produced by Elijah Thomson (Father John Misty, Delta Spirit) and recorded entirely in both English and Spanish. Growing up speaking both languages, frontman Octavio Genera always wondered what it would be like to sing in Spanish, it just didn’t occur to him to try it professionally, and he wasn’t sure there was space for it within the band. “Speaking and singing in a language are two different things,” says Genera. “There was a feeling of joy and passion when I sang these songs in Spanish that I wasn’t expecting. And then hearing the songs back — it was right.”
For the first single, “Brick by Brick”, frontman and principal lyricist Octavio Genera took a very personal approach. “Our first night in the studio was Election Night, so naturally that environment crept onto this record,” he notes. “It was hard not to take some offense to someone claiming that a wall and the people on the other side of that wall were the cause of so many problems.”
Genera — whose mother is from Mexico and father from El Paso, Texas, and who grew up in a bilingual Spanish/English family — felt that sentiment sharply. “The song is my version of my grandparents coming here to better themselves and their children, and I’m thankful they did,” he explains. “I am here, and I am who I am because of it.”