Singer, songwriter, and keyboardist/bass player Xenia Rubinos first unleashed her inventive indie rock on a broader audience with her 2013 debut, Magic Trix. Three years later, she delivers a similarly ambitious and spunky bricolage of rock, funk, jazz, hip-hop, Caribbean rhythms, and electronics with Black Terry Cat. It was produced by longtime collaborator and drummer Marco Buccelli, whom Rubinos met while studying voice at the Berklee College of Music.
Xenia Rubinos' vivid debut album, Magic Trix, drew from noise, punk, and soul, yet it was often described as “Latin music” on account of the Brooklyn songwriter's Puerto Rican and Cuban heritage. “I think that my culture plays into that because it's part of who I am,” she's said, “but I also don't think it's the totality of my work. ” But for the follow-up, her newfound appreciation of hip-hop, rediscovering Erykah Badu, and creating against a backdrop of racist police brutality prompted Rubinos to consider the parameters of her identity.
“You know where to put the brown girl when she’s fuckin’ it up / Where you gonna put the brown girl now she’s tearin’ it up?” sings Xenia Rubinos on See Them. It’s not just a question but an issue she delves into throughout her sophomore release. Like Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Blood Orange’s Freetown Sound, Black Terry Cat confidently champions Rubinos’s experience as a woman and person of colour while challenging the societal limitations placed on her for being both.