Arca’s “Anoche” Is So Beautiful It Hurts

 

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Without Björk’s gentle push, Arca (aka Alejandro Ghersi) recently admitted he would likely not have mustered the courage to debut his singing voice on his upcoming self-titled LP. He also claims that almost all of the album’s lyrics were improvised, yet it seems that Björk’s spiritual influence has seeped into Ghersi’s subconscious on his new song, “Anoche.” The parallels between one particularly evocative line from the song, “Anoche te añoré/Aunque no te he conocido aún,” (“Last night I missed you/Even though I haven’t met you yet”) and Björk’s 1995 lyric, “I miss you/But I haven’t met you yet” are too blatant and significant to go unnoticed.

22 years later, Arca reverently echoes Björk’s intangible longing by filtering this shared melancholy through his elastic prism of sounds. His dreamlike elegy for a lover whose very existence is in question proves an exemplary showcase for his vocal range. Over sustained string-like chords and a relatively subdued, stuttering beat, Arca dramatically shifts from a mournful falsetto to a lower, breathy register. He allows pregnant silences to briefly fill the space for maximum dramatic effect. There’s an intoxicating mixture of suffering and lust that radiates from this bittersweet lament, and it’s just about impossible not to find beauty in his sadness.

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