By Ellen Eldridge
Shoe-gazing, dancing alone in a crowd while wearing headphones, mumbling in the rain and dreaming in a foreign language all touch on the feelings contained within the first track on Helado Negro’s Invisible Life.
Roberto Carlos Lange fuses synthetic elements and samples with Spanish lyrics. “Lentamente” slowly moves from “Llumina Vos,” which translates to it illuminates you or it lights you. The feeling of a warm bath in sunlight permeates the skin during these introductory tracks.
Then, “Dance Ghost” wraps its atmosphere around the listener like rain gliding down the windows, keeping you inside and away from the warmth of a lover. “There’s no one home, just the ghost of dance alone” resonates; perhaps I’m hearing the lyrics wrong, but such is the sensation in these songs of a spirit one can’t quite grasp.
Moving along through the synthy and juicy songs listeners feel pulled back and forth through varying realities, much like a close-eyed dancer lost in a crowd being passed back and forth across the dance floor, not a part of the bodies in the room but not entirely separate. This metaphor moving through the songs also touches on the theme coursing through the album: an invisible life.
The album’s title does not appear as a track, but rather the songs “Arboles” (trees in Spanish) and “Relatives” compel the listener to evaluate a sense of familial relation, perhaps one that unites each of us to our brothers human.
Helado Negro takes the spirit of life and tracks the varying emotions and experiences so that the spirit transcends from songwriter to listener. Invisible Life sways the listener, tosses and turns him, then gently places him in a warm bath of nostalgic understanding. Pick up the pieces of the invisible parts of your life while Helado Negro smoothly sings over the rough parts of your life, exposing the invisible, inviting you in the cloing to “Catch That Pain.”
If you missed the Feb. 28 show, pick up a copy of Invisible Life today and make plans to see the March 20 show at 529.