Local Review: Marqueza – Salty
Local Music Reviews
Marqueza = Giselle + Kelela + Andrea Valle
Having written, produced and mixed two albums, Marqueza proves to be an SLC local badass. Marqueza started working on their newest album, Salty, right after their first album, Orbit Pluto, was released in January 2019. There was a plan to release this follow-up earlier, but they didn’t feel it was right yet, so it got released later than intended. There were also originally only seven songs on the album, but Marqueza created and added a last-minute song to fill out the tracklist to eight songs. These production facts speak to the hard work and dedication Marqueza puts into their music.
Summer is here, and Marqueza makes that known rather quickly in “801.” The changing seasons and the feelings around them are captured in different ways through their statements of being too hot and too cold, as well as through the upbeat drumming at the beginning and the dark strung out synths that fade into the darkness at the end.
A gradual, solemn build up starts off the track “Solaris,” and it happens to be my favorite. It’s soft, sad and heartbreaking, yet hopeful all at the same time. Sweet and elusive, Marqueza’s sonorous voice carries through into a simpler tune. It feels as though they want to give their love to someone, but their desire is not being reciprocated, which keeps the theme of dreaming consistent in Marqueza’s music.
One thing that this album shows off is Marqueza’s way of being able to rhyme their meaningful words quite easily. “East Temple” is the best example of that. “Still repenting for having the nerve / To chase the kind of life that I deserve.” Marqueza’s voice manages to drown out the sensual synths because of how simple they are. A lot of people say that they only ever hear the zodiac sign Gemini in music, but Marqueza has managed to incorporate them being a Pisces with the lines, “Nothing straight about me / I’m a Pisces.”
The title track makes me appreciate Salt Lake City for what it is. “I want to thrive / Not survive,” Marqueza sings as to how they want to settle down in the city. The honesty in their words is raw, because their reality is unique, yet I’m sure many people can relate to their words. I enjoy that Marqueza is able to share their experience and view of Salt Lake City in their music. They frequently mention being in a dreamland and fantasizing about love, yet there’s a grounding sense within that fantasy that Marqueza is supposedly living in.
Salty is a good album. It was an introspective journey for me, and some of their songs called me out on my own shit. Marqueza has a vibrant voice, and there’s an enchanting element in their music. However, their beats can sometimes get lost in the background behind their powerful voice. Any proceeds that Marqueza makes off of their music they will be donating to local and national organizations such as the COVID Mutual Aid in SLC (@covid19mutualaidslc). You can find more information on their website (marinamarqueza.com), where you can also find their first project, Orbit Pluto. –Kimberly Portillo