Meet Elsa y Elmar, the Indie Pop Project That Doesn’t Believe in Language Barriers

Elsa and her band star in the second episode of SONIC LATITUDES, a series that examines what Latin America sounds like in NYC.

By Astrid Harders May 5, 2017

Elsa Carvajal sings songs en español. And whether you speak Spanish or not, each one of her songs has something for you. Through Elsa y Elmar, her musical project, she has found an outlet to release well-crafted songs that cover topics from love to conquering the world and everything in-between.

Elsa and her band, who live in Oakland, designed a special stripped-down version of two of their songs, flew to New York City, and recorded this episode of Sonic Latitudes at the TrackRecord office. The result includes two songs ruled by their tactful attention to detail: "Decir que no" and "Payaso," both part of the band's album Rey. After performing, Elsa sat down for an interview and spoke about her poetry and jazz beginnings, how she took control of her creativity, and what she thinks a U.S. audience should do when seeing her play live. Spoiler alert: She will prove to you that you don’t need to start using Duolingo to get into her tunes.

 “Decir que no” — on when you say yes, but should’ve said no

“Payaso” — on the sweetest suffering you’ve ever heard