Half Gringa, aka Chicago singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Isabel “Izzy” Olive, is set to return with her sophomore LP, Force To Reckon, on August 28, 2020. Blending contemporary indie-rock and Latinx pop with midwestern folk, Half Gringa’s moniker is both a tribute to and study of her legacy, stemming from a childhood term of endearment as “la Gringa” in her Venezuelan family and her bicultural experience growing up in the United States. The forthcoming self-produced 9-song set sees Olive joined by her full-time band members — Nathan Bojko (drums), Sam Cantor (guitar), Andres Fonseca (bass), Lucy Little (violin) — as well as Ivan Pyzow on trumpet, with occasional harmonies and piano from fellow Chicago singer/songwriter Gia Margaret. Margaret can be heard on Half Gringa’s new single “Afraid Of Horses,” which is out today.
Of the new track, Olive offers, “Many of the songs on this record are talking about more than one event or situation that overlaps or is related to another in some way – when I started writing ‘Horses’ I thought it was different, it’s an apology to one specific person. But the more distance I get from writing it, the more I realize it’s also about trying to understand my own emotional landscape and its power. It scares me a little, but I’m also in awe of it, in the way that nature is awesome and beautiful and scary. It’s like trying to understand my own nature and honor and respect it without letting it terrify me. I wanted the arrangement to feel like it’s really getting you to run away with it, and I asked Gia if she’d sing on it because of how different our voices are – together, they sound like a lot of the duality I feel inside.”