This is a column dedicated to discs that get passed by in the racks, either because they’re underappreciated, because they’re obscure as hell, or, as in the case with this one, because so few of us have travelled down to Ecuador.
The folks over at London record shop Honest Jon’s have undoubtedly been there and just about everywhere else as they dig out music for their excellent reissues, such as this one, “Impossible Love Songs from Quito.” It’s a double LP of beautiful guitar-backed duets from Duo Benitez-Valencia (the two bad asses on the cover). Duo Benitez-Valencia started up in 1942 and are officially recognized as part of the “intangible heritage” of Quito, Ecuador. There’s even a public square named after them. Quito is older and better preserved than just about any other city in this hemisphere, so getting named as part of their heritage is no joke.
The songs are traditional, simply constructed, and calming. They exude sunshine, but also the sadness, longing, and joy– the ups and downs we all experience as part of the dating life (at least those of us who experienced it before the apps took over). It’s excellent for cleaning the house on a sunny day, or trying to brighten up a cold snowy one like today.