Ecuadorian-American artist Helado Negro has announced the release of his new album, This Is How You Smile, set for release on March 8th, 2019. Inspired by a line from “Girl,” the short story by Jamaica Kincaid, Helado Negro’s sixth full-length album follows his 2016 breakthrough LP, Private Energy.
Under the moniker Helado Negro, the experimental singer, songwriter and producer Roberto Carlos Lange has deftly infused his textural electronic stylings with elements of Latin American folk and dream pop. On Tuesday Lange teased his upcoming album with the delicately woven lead single, “Please Won’t Please” — lamenting the burden of proof for people of color who experience state-sanctioned violence. “We light ourselves on fire/Just to see if anyone believes,” he sings ruefully, over the otherwise sublime twinkling of synths.
“[I’m] mostly confused about where my footing is and how long will the ground stay solid,” Lange explains to Rolling Stone over email. “There is a large portion of this song that rewards the darkness, looking at what’s left after you’ve burnt out and no one is there. It’s relief in exhaustion. Darkness, mixing colors (blue and orange to make brown) that are related to warmth and openness resulting in this tone, me.
“I’m talking about all the chances I’ve taken on myself,” he continues. “All the times I’ve bet on myself knowing that expectations can be the most misleading, maybe unattainable. But I keep expecting it will be better. It’s me saying ‘I’m okay with me, kind of.’ It’s me being okay with asking for help. I also love how many different ways you can say please. Like, PLEASE, or —sucking your teeth — pleeaase. [Disdainful] and destitute.”
Helado Negro 2019 Tour Dates
February 10 & 11 – New York, NY @ Brooklyn Steel *
February 12 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
February 14 – Washington D.C. @ The Anthem *
February 15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Tower Theater *
February 16 – Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre *
February 18 – Montreal, QC @ MTELUS *
February 19 – Toronto, ON @ Sony Centre *
February 21 – Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theatre *
February 22 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre *
February 23 – Minneapolis, MN @ Palace Theatre *
February 26 – Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum Theatre *
February 27 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre *
February 28 – Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall *
March 3 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre *
May 10 – Los Angeles, CA @ Walt Disney Hall &
* with Beirut
& with Lila Downs