One year after releasing her landmark album, El Mal Querer, Catalan avant-pop star Rosalía bounds back with her new single, “A Palé.”
Infused with choppy Atlanta trap beats and flares of electronic synth, the new song was produced by Rosalía in tandem with frequent collaborator El Guincho and producer Frank Dukes (Travis Scott, Future). Rosalía offsets this experimentation with her signature, operatic flamenco vocal: “From the day I was born/I bring the star that I carry,” she sings. “I know that I don’t owe it to anyone/And it only protects me.” Yet once the bass kicks in, her voice sinks several octaves and adopts a steely American rap flow. “Bite if you have to bite,” she spits in Spanish with bravado.
Directed by Jora Frantzis, the arty new video takes inspiration from Rosalía’s home on the outskirts of Barcelona, where the economy is dominated by the trucking industry. The title “A Palé” refers to shipping pallets often circulated throughout the area.
Sporting gold teeth and a convincing Frida Kahlo-esque unibrow, Rosalía violently shakes her hair, dances her way through a packing plant and lands parkour jumps between plastic crates — the moves were choreographed by Kendrick Lamar collaborator Charm La’Donna.
The dark, probing style of “A Palé” poses a stark contrast to Rosalía’s recent pop-urbano releases, including her joint track with Ozuna, “Yo X Ti Tu X Mi,” as well as “Con Altura,” her smash hit featuring J Balvin and El Guincho. The video for “Con Altura” recently joined the ranks of YouTube’s One-Billion-View Club, and became the most-viewed video featuring a female artist in 2019.
The singer-songwriter is up for five Latin Grammys this year, including for Record of the Year and Album of the Year. She will perform live at the ceremony in Las Vegas on November 14th.