It’s mid-winter in the Northern Hemisphere, but maybe that’s when we need summer songs most. Fortunately, there’s Veraniegas. The latest album from Molly Kate Rodriguez, aka kate can wait, is available today on Grimalkin Records. In it, the Puerto Rican dark folk artist reaches for a new kind of seasonal sound.
The story of Veraniegas starts in the spring of 2019. That March, just a few weeks after releasing her last record, howl youth, Rodriguez wrote and recorded her first song for the new project.
“That song was ‘sal & oro,’ which was my attempt at making something inspired by post-rock,” she says. You can hear that influence in rich ambience and reverb that falls like summertime shade–a cool refuge for her acoustic guitar fingerpicking to spring out of and echo back into.
With a little more writing over the three months that followed, a full album started to take shape, incorporating other sounds and styles Rodriguez had been exploring.
“I wanted to take my time, experiment with a few different sounds, and not rush it.”
The title–from the spanish for “summer”–came after the fact. Rodriguez spent months trying to brainstorm something that would encapsulate the mood of the record, but a blast from the past pulled everything into focus.
“I ran across a very old song I had recorded in about 2011 titled “Veraniegas” and the title just seemed absolutely perfect for the vibe I wanted to portray,” she says. “It reminds me of dusky summer nights and beautiful summer sunsets, and I figured it’d be interesting to portray darker or more somber summer sounds.”
On top of that, Rodriguez was amused by the convoluted seasonal circumstances of the album’s birth.
“I find the idea of a summer album that was written during spring but released during winter humorous.”
A limited edition cassette release includes two exclusive tracks, and as with her last album, proceeds from tape sales will go to the True Self Foundation–an organization supporting the LGBTQ+ community of Puerto Rico.
“Puerto Rico is a very conservative place where a lot of LGBTQ+ people struggle daily and are often treated as second class citizens,” she says. “Trans and nonbinary rights in particular are near and dear to my heart, and I’d like to be able to help the people of my home island however I can.”
Veraniegas is also available as a 10” lathe-cut record from Grimalkin Records, and you can stream it now via Bandcamp.