La Despedida – Spanish for “The Farewell” – is a breakup album. A psychedelic, post-apocalyptic meta-breakup album by a band that has broken up more than once. For over a decade, San Lazaro have been playing and writing original Latin music in Melbourne. A tribe of lost Latinos, cobbled together from all over the Spanish speaking world. From Chile to Cuba to Catalonia, they’ve come together at the Southern end of Australia to sing the songs they needed to sing and tell the stories they needed to tell.
This album, like San Lazaro, is more than the sum of its parts – more fortunate accident than grand design. There are so many different influences that its origins are hard to pinpoint. It’s a reflection of a world where children of a dozen diasporas ended up in the same adopted city, dreaming of motherlands they don’t quite remember, cannibalising and co-opting stories and musical influences from each other’s lives to make meaning in their own.