Espada by Javiera Mena (2013)
castoyputo answered: I just love her music. But why haven’t you commented her new video for Espada? Is amazing!! I have read your reviews and i like them a lot.
Sorry, I had a lot to finish yesterday, so I couldn’t comment on the new video! I just watched it yesterday before work, and I was amazed. I love it. I was going to not talk about it, but might as well since you bring it up.
I barely found out “espada” means “sword” in Spanish like couple days ago. Mena’s current sword obsession makes sense now, but I thought of it in a literal sense, like she’s trying to be a pop warrior or something. After watching the video, I don’t think she’s using “sword” in a literal sense anymore. It’s not that hard to reach that conclusion here. I didn’t expect this much sexual imagery from Javiera Mena, who I thought would be more closed off with that topic of discussion — if she’s been talking sex openly in Spanish the whole entire time I’ve been talking about Mena, please let me know.
I’m probably not alone thinking about the whole Tumblr-influenced aesthetic of the “Espada” video. It’s such a defined, saturated aesthetic at this point with a lot of big artists grabbing at it that it’s pretty recognizable. Not a bad thing, I like this creative approach and I think Javiera Mena and team used it really well. The imagery seems very all over the place yet the visual non-sequitur is all loosely connected with its sexual and/or retro imagery. A lot of things pop up here, but the video is well paced in its placement.
The visual themes and tropes that Mena grabs at in this video reminds me of the topic I brought up when I was talking about “Ahondar En Ti,” the first song on Mena. I brought up how Javiera Mena seems to use different sounds and recontextualizes them to how she sees fit in music. It’s a similar thing happening here in the “Espada” video, which borrows the spirit of Tumblr and its whole culture of posting and editing images to blur their context. For a very retro-saturated music of “Espada” immediately should bring up the type of colors and images used in the video — those shiny, new wave-y synths used by Mena should bring the highly saturated, almost-neon shades of colors and retro-commercial logos and objects. And Mena uses these associated images in her own way, clashing them together with sexual symbols and innuendos. That’s how I imagine Mena’s music being made, by Mena taking over the powers that be and making music by her own rules, and “Espada” seems like a continuation of that.
Sucks how I don’t know Spanish because with a video like this, the lyrics seem exciting to read. I imagine them being either very suggestive or very open. I don’t know if anything like the sexual innuendos in the video is at least mentioned in “Espada.” She has done that there with the title, I assume, but what else is there? I see some possible political messages inside the “Espada” video, but I don’t really want to get into that when I don’t even know Javiera Mena’s political beliefs.
I’m very excited for what’s next for Javiera Mena. She’s still playing by her own rules, and that’s the most exciting thing to see from her.
I’m really impress on how you totally nail it with your reviews. Even not knowing what the lyrics say because you don’t speak Spanish, you manage to catch meanings very well. I don’t know if that’s the result of Mena’s brilliant work or you are a really smart listener/viewer, maybe both? :) Thank you for this reviews. And play Mena’s songs in Japan* dance floors! As a Mena fan I thank you in advance! :P
*EDIT: Because of your name (or nickname) I thought you were japanese and living in Japan. Sorry. Anyways: play Mena’s songs in USA dance floors! :P
Best NO ever!
‘Espada’ by Javiera Mena is my new jam.