2017 was a busy year for Fil Bo Riva. After the release of the debut EP „If You’re Right, It’s Alright“ in late 2016, the first two tours in Germany, Austria and Switzerland went sold out. According to this unexpected success, the solo project on stage developed to a duo with Felix A. Remm and later from a three piece to a four piece. The rest of the summer was spent through Europe playing several festivals and other gigs. All this while constantly going back into the studio with producer Robert Stephenson to work on the debut album. It has been a year full of contrasts and different priorities: On the one hand, enjoying the fast-paced life on the road, visiting new places and meeting new faces. Signing autographs on scraps of papers for the first time and realizing people actually singing along at festival gigs. On the other hand, fully disconnecting with the world and being alone in the studio to focus on the album recording. Diving in deeply, forgetting everything else and solely being with the music. Nothing else matters. Metaphorically speaking: 'If the EP was a photograph of an idea, what we are trying to create with the album is an actual movie. I’m not trying to sound romantic but it’s like accumulating different pictures and feelings… and we all worship the album format, that’s why we want to take the time to shape it properly.“
When Malena Zavala sings, time seems to stand still. Her haunting voice is hypnotic, her sensual songs like spells that sweep you out of the everyday and off to somewhere exotic. As a baby, Malena sang herself to sleep. As a musician, she may have magical powers.
'Aliso', her debut album, both drifts like a dream and packs a powerful punch. Entirely written, played and produced by Malena, its ten tracks owe a debt to Beach House, Brian Eno, Tame Impala, Cuban folk musician Silvio Rodriguez and an addictive Argentinean tea called Yerba Mate that fuelled its recording. Its songs are as much about capturing emotions as they are about telling tales. Its spectral beauty is bewitching.
Having sung since her teens, but never previously written or produced, Malena took a freewheeling approach to composing. She made the album, mostly in her parents' garage, as an experiment more than an introduction, intending to upload it to Soundcloud to see if anyone noticed. When a label snapped her up, she was shocked. When ecstatic reviews of her first two singles, both released late last summer, took her Top 10 on Hype Machine twice, she finally conceded that music had become her career.