Austin-based singer/songwriter Gina Chavez has always worn her emotions on her sleeve.
Her deeply felt ruminations on things like identity, love, life, fun and joy have made her music an Alt.Latino favorite for quite a few years now. Chavez's voice is perfectly suited to reflect all of those experiences and to take us to places where we dare to let our emotional guards down.
So it comes as no surprise to me that I would completely fall under the spell of a new Gina Chavez single from her upcoming EP, Lightbeam. "Heaven Knows" is a sensual groove-poem set to lyrics that address life's most passionate moments.
You're just my type
From your freckles to you baby toes
You taste just right
Gina Chavez has so far made music that draws from the myriad Latin music styles she has explored on her albums and with her tight-knit live band. But this track, and the upcoming album, is steeped in the slow-burn soul and uptempo R&B that, along with Latin music, was the soundtrack of her youth. In fact, the new record offers up a different side of Chavez and may catch some of her diehard fans by surprise.
Chavez makes no secret of the fact that her motivation for these new love songs is her recent marriage to her long time partner, Jodi Granado.
"I took some time to allow myself to write," Chavez said. "No boundaries, no genres, just me and my guitar, and I was pretty surprised when these soul-tinged songs bubbled up. But this is the story my heart wanted to tell; the story what it means to be a Catholic Latina and fall in love with a woman; the story of what it means to live your heart no matter what the world says."
Lightbeam will be released later this summer, and "Heaven Knows" is the first of a-once-a-month single release plan to slowly unveil her new direction.
Ultimately, Gina Chavez's musical gift is her ability to tap into our own emotions with songs that often feel as if they are about us. "Heaven Knows" and the upcoming EP Lightbeam is another artistic step forward for an artist who is happy in life and with her music.