This year (2014) marks Yo La Tengo’s 30th anniversary, and they’re celebrating it by reissuing their sixth album, Painful, released nearly a decade into their career. The cardigan-cozy sound of the record effectively established Yo La Tengo as indie rock’s great romantics, and featured a couple of significant firsts for the trio.
It was the awakening (Despertando) of a tinge of longing which inspired Diego Pinera to record this album. More than seventeen years after having left his native Uruguay, he re-visits his roots, the influences which first left their mark on him, and the legacy which made him the musician he is today.His choice of compositions is highly personal: tunes by Gato Barbieri and Ernesto Lecuona are clear cultural references to Argentina and Cuba (Pinera also studied in Havana). His own composition “Osvaldo por Nueve” is a homage to his first teacher and mentor Osvaldo Fattoruso. It is also Pinera’s modern take on the ‘candombe’ folklore tradition, popular in Uruguay. The track “Yakarito Terere” is personal too: a composition by his father, inspired by a memory from childhood, of regular excursions into the hinterland of Montevideo.