“Junkyard-Folk” artist Kate Vargas has released her newest project, Rumpumpo, the fourth studio album for the New York City-based New Mexico native.
Vargas was set to record just weeks before the pandemic struck. After periods of creative block resulting from isolation, she began seeking inspiration and fresh life perspectives through yoga, meditation and clean eating.
Gotta make the levee break, let the tonic take, double-stroking in a swim-or-syncopation/Well you won’t if you don’t get to doing, it’s Newtonian.
Vargas also drew upon a conversation with a friend in which they discussed Newton’s first law: “An object in motion stays in motion and an object at rest stays at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.” This law ended up being a motivating mantra as Vargas grew to move past feelings of stagnation. She sings about this Newtonian logic in Rumpumpo‘s title track.
Rumpumpo has received high critical praise, especially surrounding Vargas’s lyricism and poetic storytelling.
Vargas’ work is marked with deep intention, frequently emerging as some of the most “honest, authentic” in the Americana scene.American Songwriter
Growing up in the artist and farming village of Corrales, New Mexico, storytelling was a natural part of Vargas’s childhood. The community was rich in folklore and oral histories, including tales of witches, devils and fights between good and evil. Rumpumpo features the previously released singles “Church of Misdirection,” and “Glorieta to the Holy Place” as an ode to her home and its rich traditions.
It was a strange and wonderful place that I’ve really come to appreciate as an adult. There was a culture of storytelling, and the stories were often dark—the way I write songs now is rooted in that tradition. The paranormal and the supernatural always seem to make their way in. It was a great place for an imagination to run wild. If I told my mother I was bored, she’d tell me, ‘Go outside and pretend something.’Kate Vargas
After the success of her 2018 album For the Wolfish & Wandering, Vargas performed on NPR’s Mountain Stage, shared an official showcase at Nashville’s AmericanaFest, played the 30A Songwriters Festival, and had her songs appear on television shows Stumptown (ABC), Midnight, Texas (NBC) and Good Trouble (Freeform).
Rumpumpo is sure to make a splash in the folk scene and continue to cement Vargas as one of the great rising names in the genre. It is now available to stream (see below) and order on CD/vinyl. Connect with Kate Vargas on her Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages.