Santa Cruz’s Nadia Peralta remembers visiting her parents in Southern California, where she grew up, and walked along the same hills she played on as a child. She was struck by how everything had changed, and how the whole area was so much more developed.
“It was vast and went on for a long time,” Peralta recalls. “And now that’s mostly gone. But there’s still these places that you can go and have an outlook.”
Walking those hills set off a whole series of thoughts, which she explores in the third verse of her band Kite Hands Glowing’s newest song “Southern CA.” She thought about her preschool teacher—and summer camp teacher at age 7—Miss Jacque Nuñez, an Acjachemen Indigenous woman who shared her culture with her students, as well as her knowledge of self-care, basket-weaving, and herbalism. It inspired Peralta to explore her own Indigenous Argentinian culture—and to seek the truth about the treatment of all Indigenous people.
“It’s about walking the hills of my place of birth,” she explains of Southern CA’s third verse. “So far away from my parents’ homelands, and loving it so much, seeing it for how it is alive and growing with its own sovereign glow. And also remembering that this time we’re living in is a really short period of time in the history of human beings. Not only are so many things possible, but so many things happened before that we don’t even really realize.”
All three verses of the song reflect trips she’s taken to Southern California as an adult. They’re profound, emotional and seek to explore the deeper truths about life with an overwhelming sense of calmness.
“My goal if I could have anything happen with that song [is] that it would soothe my inner 17-year-old who just wants to turn on something peaceful, and turn it on loud and feel a little free for a little while,” Peralta says.
Kite Hands Glowing will release “Southern CA” on Feb. 27 on all the streaming platforms. It’s the first single from their upcoming EP. It’s also Peralta’s first full band release. Previously she released two solo LPs under the Kite Hands Glowing moniker, Before Crossing the Water (2016) and Lucia (2018). They contain spiritual and gentle songs, and she rereleased them at the beginning of the year.
In particular, Lucia is a peaceful piano-driven meditation on her family, legacy, and how it has impacted her life and sense of identity. She shares the name Lucia with several of the women in her life, a literal and metaphorical connection that ties them together.
“I feel a lot of love for this great-grandparent I never met,” Peralta says. “She had an extraordinary life, filled with a lot of beauty, but also a lot of hardship. When I learned about her story, and then how that impacted my grandmother’s life, who also faced a great deal of adversity and hardship, then I became conscious of just how lineage works. We inherit both the beauty of our ancestors and their wisdom, but also these pains and traumas that maybe never go said.”
She’s been working with her full band a little over a year now. They only got to play a few shows. The plan was to release their EP last April, but the Covid-19 pandemic sidelined that. Though the sound of the EP is heavier, louder, and has more of a rock component, she still maintains the intimacy and tenderness of her first two solo records.
“Even though the sound has been amplified by electricity and more instruments, still we’re able to be really quiet and play with the dynamics inside the song. And then it gets louder and louder,” Peralta says.
In addition to getting more of her music out there, she recently quit her teaching job so she could focus more energy on her two passions: music and herbalism.
“Both of them are in my creative parts of my life. I think that they’re connected. Both of them require me to be my most genuine and authentic self. In 2021, I’m committing to these practices, and I’m gonna see where that goes. And I might need another part-time job, but at least I know what I’m focusing on,” Peralta says.
For more information, check out facebook.com/kitehandsglowing.