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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion

Rupa & The April Fishes

By James Rodgers
Published June 23, 2008

eXtraOrdinary rendition
Cumbancha

Rupa & The April Fishes open their debut album with the noonday siren in San Francisco—perhaps a warning that the music to come is not what you might expect, and certainly not Top 40 fare. Of course, none of that matters when you can deliver a poppy and catchy blend of gypsy swing, jazz, Latin, French chanson and other world music styles, proving once again that despite our perceived differences, we share many things in common. For starters, Rupa Marya’s roots are in India, but she sings in Spanish, French, Hindi, and English about love, loss, power, lies, and the difficulties of flying on EasyJet. Her music conjures another place and time, but it’s still instantly relatable and current, with the five members of The April Fishes (on cello, trumpet, accordion, drums, and upright bass) creating a wonderful sonic backdrop for her stirring and strong Sinéad-esque vocals. Transcending language and style, this is extraordinary indeed.