Born in Northern India, bred in Southern France, and with two stops (the second one permanent) in San Francisco Bay, it makes sense that Rupa Mayra-- founder and lead singer of Rupa and the April Fishes-- produces music that in one song combines all the best days of Blue Line: Jackson stop street musicians. They have songs in French, English, Hindi; they switch and lock between Argentinean tango, Gypian ragtime, American folk, German polka, Indian ragas. In a way, they're one of the few bands that actually do fit the often clunky label of "World Music," so often used to simply tag (and subsequently clump into one massive ball of Playdoh) any music not in English.
The April Fishes spin cuts that have sat at home, gotten bored, then checked out and gone globetrotting; the reasons seem to differ from song to song-- hunting down a lover, facing an awkward reality, just getting the hell outta here-- but they speak their piece with grace and often in a fever pitch. The album as a whole can get somewhat repetitive, particularly when nearly all the songs are in French (curse you, my public education and your conspiculously absent foreign languages!) However, once you smuggle yourself over the language barrier, it's the kind of poetry perfect to stare out the window to. Which, I suspect, is what the April Fishes want you to do.
Rupa & the April Fishes' debut album, eXtrOrdinary rendition, is available on iTunes and Amazon. They roll through Chicago 6/15, 9:00 PM at Sonotheque.