Half gringa is the songwriting project of izzy olive.
An emotional scab-picker, her work explores the confluence of Latinx and Midwestern identity. Her first LP, Gruñona, reveals a palimpsest of wounds upon scars. Contemplative and choleric, all manner of memorials to the past are revealed—mountains, dive bars, orchards, trains, expressways, tiny kitchens, Chicago, Caracas, and outer space. With a full band, Half Gringa's debut coaxes confession after confession out of Olive's insistent guitar and undaunted vocals; Andres Fonseca's tender bass lines; Sam Cantor's impish, mesmerizing guitar; and crowned by Ivan Pyzow's trumpet swagger. Simultaneously boastful, scathing, forgiving, and hopeful, Gruñona confronts the human ache of wanting and curse of taking. It recognizes that an identity is a journey that names you.
All portraits by Elmer Martinez. All other photos by Dan Fonseca.