“Open Eyes,” a new song by duendita for Mexican Summer’s ongoing Looking Glass series, moves with its own logic. Leading a small jazz ensemble—Endea Owens on bass, Paul Wilson on keys, and Austin Williamson on drums—the Brooklyn and Berlin-based soul artist sweeps from her stirring lower register to a lush falsetto, accompanying the wave-like movement of the arrangement: With each line, she may sound like a choir, a string section, or a quiet voice in a dimly lit room, singing only for herself.
duendita’s multidimensional outlook extends to the lyrics, as her tone shifts from prayer (“Bright purple leaves/Holy is He),” to personal reflection (“Curls spun like wool/Got me bullied in school”), to communal love: “I’m wishing peace and stillness to you,” she sings in the closing lines, before clipping and looping her voice into a distorted sample that blends back into the arrangement. Undercutting its live, organic sound with psychedelic tape manipulation, the song taps you into an inner monologue with a fuzzy connection. “When I’m lonely, I don’t really try to cure it,” duendita told Pitchfork in 2019. “I spend a lot of time alone, and I don’t see it as an ailment anymore.” “Open Eyes” breathes in this sense of acceptance and extends it far beyond, for those of us who need it most.