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Cordero

Lovelorn Southwestern ballads permeate Cordero's endlessly romantic repertoire -- little surprise, given that the Brooklyn-based act has embarked on collaborations with Calexico and Giant Sand. But for bilingual frontwoman Ani Cordero and husband/drummer Chris Verene (formerly of Rock-A-Teens), no broken heart goes unexamined, no desert mirage is left to the rote appetite of circling buzzards. Recalling Verdi operas and the magical realism of Gabriel García M´rquez, Cordero specializes in atmospheric narratives rooted in sexy Latin rhythms, sultry vocals and trumpet-driven exorcism. On its fourth release, En Este Momento, the outfit drifts into territory well-trod by the likes of Denver's own premier corazón-tuggers, DeVotchKa. Still, Cordero maintains its own unique scope and ambience. A shining jewel in Bloodshot Records' ever-growing crown (which already boasts Graham Parker, the Waco Brothers and My Morning Jacket as turncoat countrypolitans), the outfit offers an intoxicating blend of mystery, sorrow and wanderlust. Saddle up.