Comprised of Mexican-American sisters Vic Banuelos and Gabby Banuelos, Milwaukee synth-pop duo Reyna suffuse their summertime sads with touches of disco in their new single, “The Way I Loved You.” A danceable letter to a long-gone first love, elder sister Vic pines for a romance as profound the second time around. “I really wanna love somebody the way I loved you,” she sings in honeyed lament, “But it’s hard to when it’s not you.”
“When I went to Mexico for college I was just beginning to discover myself and feeling comfortable with my sexuality,” writes Vic, who is openly gay. “I feel in love hard for a girl I met and it was the most intense, young crazy love you could imagine. I ended up breaking her heart and simultaneously breaking my own for a very long time. [“The Way”] is about wanting to love someone new with that same intensity, without caution or fear. But it’s almost impossible because every new relationship you’re more and more guarded. It’s almost like you’re protecting your heart instead of letting yourself fall in love.”
If this sounds like lyrical fodder for another sister act in pop history — namely, Tegan and Sara — it’s not much of a stretch. The Canadian indie-pop act who once inspired Reyna would later give them a shout on Twitter, following the January release of their single, “Heartbeat.” Reyna is currently plotting new material in the studio, in the company of producers such as John ‘Feldy’ Feldmann, Joe Kirkland and Lil Aaron. The duo will also open for fellow synth-pop heroes Chvrches in Milwaukee’s Summerfest this July.