Tag Archives: Maria Usbeck

The Essential Alt-Pop of Cascine


In the winter of 2010, Jeff Bratton took a sabbatical from his corporate job in Los Angeles and flew to Sweden. There, he met the owners of his favorite record label—a small indie named Service, whose roster included Jens Lekman, The Embassy and The Tough Alliance—and asked if he could help out. “I didn’t have any experience, and there wasn’t a whole lot of money to go around, but I just wanted to be involved,” Bratton says. A month later, he returned to Los Angeles with his own personal Service email address. But more importantly, he’d lit the fuse for a career in the music business. 

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Maria Usbeck Embraces Change on “Envejeciendo”

Maria Usbeck

Photo by Holland Brown

Maria Usbeck’s sophomore album, Envejeciendo, is a concept album about growing older (the Spanish verb “envejecer” means to grow old), and the Ecuadorian musician approached its creation like a scientist conducting an experiment. Before she started writing, Usbeck gathered evidence, speaking to people in her own life about their experiences with aging. “I had to,” she explains, over cocktails at a bar in Brooklyn. “It helped me trim down what I wanted to talk about, because it’s such a broad subject.” Usbeck stumbled on the topic somewhat accidentally, after finding her first grey hair and entering what she describes as an “aging-induced slump.”

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This Week’s Essential Releases: Indie Rock, Power Pop, Neo-Soul and More

7 essential

Welcome to Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend crucial new albums that were released between last Friday and this Friday, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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