The band’s website naturally states it best that La Fonda “…explores love, longing, and loss through harmoniously rich vocals and self-exposing lyrics.” The gorgeous melodic blend and candidness of this six-piece band is undeniable. They’ve found a way to craft soul, dream-pop, and alt-rock into their own defined sound.
Sisters in crime Veronica and Valerie Topacio are the foundation of La Fonda, and their undisputed connection is reflected in their beautifully harmonious sound. In an Instagram post announcing the band’s release of New Self Old Ways, the sisters had this to say about their journey: “More than sisters; we saw our dreams reflected in each other and we never looked back, just kept going without ever knowing the things that can happen when you’re in it together.”
The striking guitar that serenades throughout this new release is delivered by Jesse Cole, a friend from the twins’ past whose style just so happened to mix seamlessly with their vocals. Picking and plucking the four-string is Bryan Dever, whom The Topacios met after connecting with Cole. This connection led to Dever recruiting his childhood friend Patrick Hodge to bless the band with his skilled fingertips on keys.
The drummer, and final addition to La Fonda, was Jacob Whinihan who they met in the spring of 2019. Soon after Whinihan completed La Fonda, the band launched a month-long tour down the west coast and on to South by Southwest, sharing their full sound with the masses.
New Self Old Ways opens with an excellent demonstration of unity within the band in their song “Let You Go,” which is one track that struck me. This song tells a slightly gut-wrenching and all too familiar story of a person realizing that they have to let go of a love interest that has held complete control over the narrator’s emotions for far too long. Personally, my heart ached when the twins uttered, “I don’t have much left to give of me”. The song develops slowly and steadily, allowing the guitar to flourish. The drums then add a groove-induced rhythm, all while the dreamy vocals from the Topacio twins glide ever so effortlessly.
In an Instagram post describing what New Self Old Ways meant to them, the band had much to say about how it was the relationship of the band that truly made the album: “New Self Old Ways is our time capsule. Some of the songs on our debut record have been with us since our formations as a band, and remain our ultimate witness to us holding each other up through heartbreak, loss, addictions, pain…”.
Throughout the entirety of New Self Old Ways, La Fonda sounds like they are having a great time- and isn’t that what making music is all about? There is a clear sense of sincerity and comradery between these six artists, which can only mean good things for the future of La Fonda.