In 2008, actress turned singer, Ximena Sariñana released a stunning debut album titled, “Mediocre”. It was 13 songs of piano-playing, alternative pop/rock, female singer/songwriter, goodness. The album’s title was surely meant to be ironic because it received 2 Latin Grammy nominations and elevated her to the status of Pop Icon in Mexico. (She also performed on KCRW that year and you can hear her set in the archives!)
Fast forward three years later, and we find that this Guadalajara native has also established an intense cult following in the U.S. Prompting her sophomore album –produced by Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Devo, The Bird and the Bee), Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Natalia Lafourcade — to be almost entirely in English. With only one song in Spanish, Ximena is making a full vie for the “crossover” that many Spanish language artists have attempted but few have truly succeeded at.
I have tried to see Ximena live three times this past year and been left outside due to venues reaching capacity early on.
If her sold-out shows, with lines around the block, at Mucho Wednesdays, the Roxy, and SXSW are any indication of how her new album will be received… I can safely predict her “crossover” attempt will be a complete success.
If you haven’t been able to catch Ximena live, like me, there are plenty of chances this summer. She will be opening 16 dates for Sia across the U.S. and has just been added to the LAMC line up in NY. Locally, she’ll be at the Echoplex in July for their monthly Paradise party and at the Levitt Pavillion in Pasadena as part of BMI Nights.
I suggest you arrive early wherever you go see her.
— Jose Galvan