FIVE ALBUMS WITH COBRA: CYNTHIA FLORES OF BRAVOARTIST
A few months back a fellow writer in a group I’m in posted the question, “What is the hardest part about writing an article or review?” A lot of people said the beginning. I was one of them. The middle is simple, most times, and the ending writes itself, but the start is always a little tricky. I mention this because I have been thinking about how to start this Five Albums with Cobra piece for a few days. And I think I got it. I’m just going to go from the heart with this one.
I met Cynthia Flores a little over three years ago. She started coming to shows and back then our little pop-punk scene was small but tight knit. Everyone knew everyone. Soon after she became the vocalist of a band, Artistry, which included a really good friend, Ryan Johnston. So I got to know her more because of that. As I got to know her better it became clear that she had aspirations, and she was hell-bent on achieving them. She also had a heart of gold—still does.
Over the last few years, I have watched her grow from this girl that just loved music into a woman that is running big shows for BravoArtist. If you have gone to a Bravo show in the last few years, she probably was running it or there in some capacity. Just talking to her about the things she wants to do in life will make anyone want to reach for the stars. So it’s no surprise to me that she is doing a benefit show on 9/25/19 at Donatos Basement for those in concentration camps. This is something that is near and dear to her. If you don’t know her story, then ask her next time you see her at a show. But if you just want to get in her head about music, then here you go.
Albums That Blew My Mind At First Listen
I love listening to new music, but it usually takes me a couple listens to get into it. Especially if a band is completely foreign to me. I’ve thought long and hard about it But this is a list of albums that instantly blew me away. — Cynthia Flores
PXNDX – Para Ti Con Desprecio
If you didn’t know, Mexico’s pop-punk and emo scene is thriving. One of the first bands that popularized it was PXNDX. (Pronounced “Panda”) When I first heard of PXNDX, I was shocked that there was a band that I liked from where I was from. I would only ever hear reggeton, cumbia, and my grandmother’s favorite Vicente Fernandez songs. But my uncle who already had shown me Simple Plan previously also had this album in his car. The cover was messy and edgy. It looked like something I would listen to. He played it for me on our way to pick up my mom that day. After that first listen, I found myself listening to this album on repeat for weeks. It was heavy, emotional, and so dang angsty. I mean, “Cita En El Quirofano” is literally about ripping each others hearts out for a transplant to feel each others pain. Absolutely what 13 year old me related to. To this day, I listen to album at least once a week, especially to de-stress.
DAMN – Kendrick Lamar
For the longest time, I really thought that hip-hop and rap just wasn’t for me. But the second I heard the single “DNA,” I stopped what I was doing and just listened. Kendrick instantly captivated me with his words. The whole album was so mesmerizing. Kendrick Lamar is the definition of flow. The way he structures his lyrics is magical. I quickly became a big fan of rap. And since then, I have discovered an entirely different world.
La Dispute – Somewhere At The Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair
To put it simply, this album is a work of art. “Such Small Hands” is basically a classic in the post-hardcore world. When I first heard this song, I was so drawn to the emotional vocals, but what really drew me in were the lyrics. It was so different and beautiful. My favorite song on the album is “Said the King to the River.” All the tempo changes and the story it tells are amazing. If you want something to cry to when you’re an emotional rollercoaster, this is the one to do it with.
Can’t Swim – Death Deserves a Name
I first heard of this band when I worked a show for them at Donato’s Basement almost 2 years ago, and when I heard “Your Clothes,” I knew this band was gonna become one of my favorites. Death Deserves a Name only has 5 songs, but it is flawless. It’s raw, catchy, and just so good. Can’t Swim is a band that understands dynamics. The heavy parts of the EP hit at just the right moments and the soft spoken quiet parts give me chills. It’s no wonder they are finally starting to pop off. This is a band to watch out for. If you ever have a chance to see them, do it. You won’t be disappointed.
Minor ‘Love – Good but Not Great
I have always loved and believed in Minor ‘Love. They are easily one of my favorite bands. But I really wasn’t ready for the release of Good but Not Great. The twinkles and catchy lyrics were on a whole new level. The way this album makes me want to dance and also smash things is exactly why I love it. “When I Want” is easily my favorite because it’s a song I love to scream with my friends in the car. The creativity this band brings to the table is incomparable, and I can’t wait for the rest of world to see it.