Penya - Penya [EP]
Colombian singer/songwriter Angelica Lopez is the heart and soul of Penya. A professional singer by the age of 17, Lopez’ talents brought her to the London underground World Music scene, where both her voice and songwriting have opened eyes and ears. Add to the mix four top notch musicians behind Lopez and you have Penya. If you haven’t heard of them, don’t worry, you will. Penya recently released their self-titled EP to critical acclaim in England. It can’t be long before the name is known across continents and oceans.
Penya opens with "Acqui", a catchy piece of Cuban pop dotted with flute and violin. Angelica Lopez is an engaging vocalist, and the rest of the band is spot on. Forget sitting still through this number; it's impossible. "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise" finds Lopez’ voice taking on an almost kittenish quality in a beat-driven number that's hypnotic. Penya pulls their instrumental arms tight around the vocal line, creating an almost seamless arrangement you won't be able to get out of your head. "Eres Indescriptible" has more of a stage ballad feel to it, accompanied by a melody line that's golden. Penya wraps things up with "Brokenhearted Girl", a monologue to a man she'd rather forget but can't get out of her heart. In spite of the Latin instrumentation, this song is a pure pop number built on a great vocal hook. In "Brokenhearted Girl", Penya might just have a hit.
Penya makes all the right moves on their self-titled EP, blending English and Spanish lyrics with Latin instrumentation and arrangements that run from Cuban magic to Top-40 American pop styles. Angelica Lopez possesses a voice full of color and power; distinctive and emotive. The rest of the band fits her like a glove, producing arrangements that fit her vocal lines like a second skin. Here's hoping we hear a lot more from Penya.
Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Penya at www.penyaband.co.uk or www.myspace.com/penyamusic. The Penya [EP] is available digitally from Amazon.com and iTunes.