In 2012, after leaving their homeland Venezuela for New York City and then London, Alejandro Ghersi began playing music under the stage name of Arca. A former child star, Ghersi has collaborated with Bjork and Kanye West. Now, the twenty-six-year-old producer and composer is releasing their third, eponymous album—the first via XL Recordings, and the first to feature Ghersi’s compelling vocals, breaking their long streak of producing extremely experimental, instrumental works.
Finding their voice again made Ghersi take a full trip within themselves—through their teenage years to the present. This new work explores the themes of gender identity, self-understanding, and sexuality—with its complex dynamics—while improvising lyrics during the recordings. In an interview with the Guardian, Ghersi notes, “There’s this kind of big, vast well of sadness inside of me that I treasure, that I’ve learned to love. A lot of songs on this record are like rivers that might end or begin there, but they all go in different places. The headspace I had to be in was hyper-fragile, like I had no skin. There’s a recurring lyric on the album, in Spanish, that’s ambiguous as to whether it’s asking someone to take my skin off, literally, physically, or whether I’m simply referring to shedding skin and growing.”
Check out two videos from the new album below!