Music

Loyal Lobos’ Haunted Melancholia

Discover the Colombian singer-songwriter whose melancholic, bilingual music makes perfect lockdown listening.

Hailing from the outskirts of Bogotá, Colombia, Andrea Silva moved to Los Angeles in 2014 to flee the sexis and bullying she endured as a teenager. And while she’d been training her supple, expressive voice since she was a child, it was under Hollywood’s bright lights, where she honed her sound — first as a student at the Musicians Institute and later by releasing a handful of singles and 2018’s dreamy folk EP The Fall.

Last year’s debut album, Everlasting, marked a more expansive sound to these earlier works, one spanning indie and synth-pop, ultimately drawing comparisons to Phoebe Bridgers and Lana del Rey. As cliche as it sounds, listening to Everlasting feels like the intense rush of a new friendship: we get to know Andrea’s innermost thoughts and fears over the course of the LP’s ten tracks like we’re staying up with her talking late into the night. She’s raw and introspective, drawing on the loneliness of her mid-twenties and painful self-loathing, as well as her most fiercely feminist, hitting back at slut-shamers with wry one-liners. 

Throughout lockdown, these airy compositions have been a salve to the preoccupations and pent-up emotions that surfaced once the world stopped. So, as restrictions (hopefully) begin to loosen up, we called Andrea to discuss her childhood performing at funerals, the secrets behind her songwriting process and how the past year has impacted her mental health. 

 

First thing’s first, what’s the story behind your artist name?

It’s pretty boring. Or at least less meaningful than you’d imagine. My friend Kenny has a local band called Goon, one night he came over and told me he was thinking of Loyal Lobos as two words that sounded cool together. A couple of weeks later, when I was ready to start releasing music, I just took it and texted him to apologise for stealing it.

 

Why did you get started in music?

When I was little I was asked to join the choir by my music teacher. From then on, funerals, weddings and first communions became my stage until I was 17.

 

So a long-running passion then! What led you to stop singing other people’s material and start writing your own tracks? 

I started writing songs when I was pretty young. I’d have a fight with my parents and then I’d shut the door in my room, feeling sorry for myself. Then I’d grab the guitar and write a song. That was my most recurrent source of inspiration.

Besides family arguments, where else do you draw inspiration for your songs?

Thoughts, people, intentions, memories… It always changes. I usually try to store every melody or lyrical idea on my phone so that when I feel calm enough to write, I have stuff to pull from.

 

Your songs cover such a range of emotions and experiences, what’s one thing you can express with your music that no-one else can?

My own perspective, which is unique because everybody has a completely different version of reality. I just create from my own emotions and how I experience the world through them.

 

This past year has been tough on creatives and particularly musicians. What are some of the biggest issues facing your scene right now?

Mental health. The world is too quiet and being with yourself is more difficult. I miss touring but I’m not going crazy without it to be honest. I’m at a different stage right now where I’m taking a step back and trying to realise what my relationship with my music is and find a balance. Having time off from promoting myself feels great.

 

Finally, what’s next for you?

Right now I’m just writing and reflecting. I honestly don’t know [what’s coming next] but I’m the most comfortable with that I’ve ever been in my life.

 

Check out Andrea’s debut album, Everlasting

12 March 2021