Published Jul 24, 2019Chicano-Californian teen romantic Omar Banos — best known as Cuco — first won our hearts three years ago, when he emerged on the scene with Wannabewithu. With tenderness that suited his age, and elegance that seemed to exceed it, he made sleepy, smitten synth-pop his own. Since then, he has proven to be consistent without running out of ideas.
His newest release, Para Mi, acts as both love letter and lens inward. Rhythmically punchy and melodically smooth, it's fit for beach and bedroom alike. Alternating between simple narratives, fluid landscapes and lo-fi beats that create a sense of pulse, Cuco juggles catchiness and variability without dropping the ball — neither boring, nor surprising us throughout the 13-track LP.
Stoned and heartbroken, the energy Cuco brings to Para Mi is as grievously desperate as it is desperately groovy. He chronicles the melancholy and melodrama of unrequited love, merging hazy drawn-out melodies and lyrics that slice into the spirit of suffering. Subtly sad, sweetly distorted and at times outright trippy, the result is perfect for long drives under summer skies. (Interscope)