Sariñana Lets Go

By: José Manuel Simián

Released late last year, Ximena Sariñana’s third album, No Todo Lo Puedes Dar,is getting a new push in the United States. It is getting a deluxe reissue with additional tracks, and it was recently announced that during the summer Sariñana will get to perform its songs all over the country when she opens 13 dates of Juanes’s tour. Sariñana recently talked to Manero from Mexico City.

It took you three years to release the follow-up to Ximena Sariñana. Why?

I think it has to do with the fact that I’m very ambitious when it comes to my records. I want them to be very different from the one that came before.

Your last album was almost completely sung in English, while all the songs in No Todo Lo Puedes Dar are in Spanish. What made you switch back?

I tend to follow the signs that life gives me, and it happened this way. Making an album in Spanish was a bit of a challenge for me this time around.

There are two topics that cross the album: a breakup and growing up.

I wrote these songs when I had moved back to Mexico [from the United States]. I was alone and wanted to reinvent myself, and in order to reinvent yourself, you need to go through moments of reflection. There is a lot of reflection in pain, and I think that, as a society, we tend to run away from the things that hurt us or that require some work from us. And yes, the songs touch the topic of a breakup, but I think it’s more a meditation on where you stand in relation to it.

The first track, “Parar a Tiempo,” talks about partying late into the night, and wondering when to stop. More importantly, it translates that feeling of euphoria and tiredness into music.

I really wanted to create an album that was full of textures and rhythms. Here in Mexico people know me for songs of heartbreak—dramatic, jazzy, semi-slow songs—and I’m much more than that. I wanted to play with rhythms, to make beats. But from a personal point of view, when you reach that moment of reinvention, you think a series of things about yourself over. I had this idea of myself as an eternal grandma, someone who would rather stay home than going out and partying. But I started to reconsider those self-imposed limits, and I ended up writing songs about partying like that one or “Fiesta Forever.”

In terms of arrangements, the album is more stripped down than Ximena Sariñana. The sound is a bit more intimate.

Yes. I wanted to take everything I had learned from making my previous records. In the first one, I wanted to record with just bass, drums and piano. In the second, I took a different path: I discovered that there were many other tools, and I played all the instruments and musical toys I could find. And this time, I wanted to find a middle point between those two experiences, to give every song the space to find its natural sound; to achieve a sound with textures, but not to the extreme that it was too much information.

You recorded two songs (“No Vas a Venir” and “Cuidado Conmigo”) with Spoon’s drummer Jim Eno. How was that experience?

Working with Jim in Austin was one of the most padre experiences of making this album. In some way, it determined the direction of the record. He made me realize that I was ready to produce. Basically, it was the two of us in the studio, and we were playing all the instruments—he was playing drums and I was on everything else, except for guitar—and we were working at a rhythm that I could handle, so I started to experiment. I could spend hours playing around with a sound in a synthesizer, or writing a bass or piano line, before recording a take. Jim made it such a delicious experience that I said to myself: “I can do this, I can produce!”

How do you think Juanes’s fans will react to your music this summer? Are you afraid of them being a different, more mainstream crowd?

I think that’s the beauty of doing something like this—to go out there and earn a number of new fans. I’m very thrilled and thankful for the opportunity of playing with Juanes. We’re going to play in some places I would have never imagined I’d get to perform at, like Madison Square Garden. I’m preparing a show that’s both eclectic and fun, so I think people will like it.

LOGISTICS: Stream No Todo Lo Puedes Dar here

José Manuel Simián is the Executive Editor of Manero. He used to be a lawyer and is probably listening to Bob Dylan as you read this.