Anyone who's been paying attention to the San Diego music scene can attest to the fact that some of our region's most compelling musical output comes from South Bay communities. So it's no surprise that rising electro-pop artist Jackie Mendoza, born and raised in Chula Vista, has been steadily making more and more of an impact not just locally but worldwide -- the New York Times, Billboard, Stereogum and the Fader are all outlets that have already sung her praises.
More imporantly though, that sort of acclaim is poised to multiply exponentially. In anticipation of "LuvHz" (or "Love Hurts"), Mendoza's debut EP due out April 26 on Luminelle Recordings, she's dropped its leadoff single "Mucho Más" -- a fascinating track bursting with the singer's near-chant of "mucho más allá" (way more out there), waves of disorientating alien textures and a heartbeat pulse as the backbone of its near-atonal, poly-rhythmic sound -- along with an accompanying psychedelic video.
Switching between English and Spanish (her fluctuation between the two languages is invitingly seamless) on her upcoming six-track EP, Mendoza's overall sound is supposedly anchored by her use of a ukulele, however, whatever she's conjuring on new tracks like "Mucho Más," and its sibling "Seahorse," is anything but organically ordinary.
Mendoza's reliance on the demure instrument proved obvious on past singles, like 2016's "Islands" and "Closer," but it's delightfullly apparent that she's now pushing her art into a more ethereal space dominated by deconstructed samples, swirling synths and foggy, scattered electronica -- FKA Twigs/Thom Yorke territory, if you will -- and we're all the better for it.
Dustin Lothspeich is a San Diego Music Award-winning musician, Senior Associate Editor at NBC SoundDiego since 2013, and talent buyer at The Merrow. Follow his updates on Twitter or contact him directly.