When she was living in Mexico, singer-songwriter Aly Tadros once undertook an all-night drive to find a vihuela, a guitar-like indigenous instrument. That might seem crazy, but it’s hard to fault an artist for that kind of dedication to inspiration. On her upcoming sophomore album The Fits–out January 15–Tadros displays how this simple tool can become a catalyst for something much bigger.
Throughout her life, Tadros has displayed an inclination for traveling. She grew up in Laredo, Texas, but the small border town couldn’t contain her larger-than-life imagination. Tadros hopped around the globe for many years, taking in the sights and sounds of Turkey, Spain, and Egypt. She settled in Mexico for a spell, which is how she first came into contact with the vihuela after hearing it at a mariachi performance. Austin can even claim her–at least for an album cycle. Her 2009 debut Things Worth Keeping was hatched in our fair city, but subsequent tours and restlessness took Tadros up to Brooklyn, where she currently resides.
The Fits is packed full of Tadros’ observations of a well-traveled life, yet the songs are hardly scattered or slap-dash. Instead, Tadros uses her vihuela and expressive voice as a way to quietly focus on the small details: love, pain, beauty, and ugliness in equal measure. “Sweet On Me” mixes a jazz-inspired backbeat with a folk melody while the singer weaves a tale of yearning and sweetness, and you’ll be able to hear it in the live setting on December 27 when Tadros appears at the Cypress Creek Cafe in nearby Wimberley, Texas.