Andrea Silva used to sing at funerals. Something about that bittersweet spectacle—as both a celebration of life and a gathering of grief—has never quite left her music. But that was years ago, when Silva was still a child growing up in Bogotá, Colombia, long before she moved to Los Angeles to escape the slut-shaming she endured in high school. Now, she makes music under the alias Loyal Lobos. She’s traded funeral hymns for synth-pop arrangements. And she’s found a way to marry the tough blow of a life left behind with the freedom that starting over allows.
On Everlasting, this freedom isn’t wasted. Silva refuses to fit into the sometimes narrow mold of singer-songwriters in the U.S., where a handful of women dominate a scene Silva once called, aptly, “very American and very white.” She tinkered with their sparse folk-rock on her 2018 EP The Fall before abandoning the limits of that genre for something else entirely: an ambitious, bilingual record that hops between influences, echoing the liminal state that comes with being a 26-year-old immigrant in America. Everlasting slips into this uncertain space and manages to thrive not in spite of it, but because of it.
Doing so meant letting go of some of Americana’s starry-eyed trappings. Some can still be heard on the album’s first single, “Criminals,” which balances the sad nostalgia of a time before meeting your platonic half with the addictive promise of their newfound love. When Silva’s voice swarms to the heavens, singing, “I’d kill for you,” it invokes a teenaged lust to evade the world’s rules together, her fingerpicked riff scoring the getaway. But on the rest of Everlasting, it sounds like Silva’s done running away from reality. Nearly a year after the longing “Criminals” was released, she’s leaning into herself more and opting for fun as an antidote to trauma. It’s a new kind of safeguard, heard in the whimsy of the album’s percussive pop elements—a surprise that only begins to make sense upon hearing that Silva landed Shawn Mendes’ hitmaker, Teddy Geiger, as her executive producer. – Pitchfork