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Standout Track: “I Don’t Care,” a warm, folksy fusion of twangy acoustic guitar and slick pedal steel, laced with pulse-setting shakers, comes from Tomás Pagán Motta’s upcoming self-titled LP, set to drop March 3. Before stepping out under his given name, the Mount Vernon Square-based singer-songwriter performed as the Petticoat Tearoom, backed by a rotating roster of other musicians. But after releasing two albums under the pseudonym, Motta opted to fully own his creations: “The songs were clear to me from the beginning—the instrumentation, feel, tone. I wanted to deconstruct and create a lot of space, and I wanted to do it under my own name.”
Musical Motivation: After spending a chunk of his childhood in Puerto Rico, Motta developed a knack for crafting cool, fluid compositions. “Growing up hearing salsa music and the typical folk from Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean, reggae, it all grooves,” he says. But while “I Don’t Care” features a balanced blend of emotional lyrics and upbeat instrumentation, its inspiration lies in feeling out of sync. “I’ve been traveling and hustling and taking risks, and the information I’m coming up with doesn’t square with the old schools of thought I carried so tightly,” Motta says.
Wild, Wild West: For Motta, the writing process is all about sitting back and letting things develop organically. “I sort of zone out,” he says. That approach went into overdrive on “I Don’t Care.” “Big chunks of it came out in one sort of manic evening with the guitar,” Motta says. “I decided to give it a go live and got another big piece there. Then, in the studio, right before we cut it, I got the last piece. I was listening to a lot of Spaghetti Western soundtracks at the time.”
Stream “I Don’t Care” after the jump.