After La Llorona (1997) and The Living Road (2003), Lhasa (2009) is the Mexican-American singer songwriter’s eponymous third album. It was also to be her last one since the recording was released only a few months before her death in 2010 at the age of 37. Lhasa is a striking recording in the first place, but such sad circumstances give the whole album a distinctive emotional aura.

Lhasa de Sela & Patrick Watson
Lhasa de Sela and Patrick Watson – Montreal – April 2009

photo credit: vincentmoon via photopin cc

With musical production stripped down to the bare minimum, the songs (all sung in English) were recorded live and straight to analog tape. Several songs from the album, including “Rising,” were filmed in April 2009 by Vincent Moon in the intimate setting of a Montreal loft.

The live session atmosphere captures to perfection Lhasa’s soulful approach to singing. A beautiful hand-drawn animation by Alex McLean et Kathleen Weldon, two illustrators from Montreal, was also released at the time to accompany the song.

Lhasa (2009)
Lhasa (2009)