Gaby Moreno teamed up with actor Oscar Isaac for her new single. They honor their Guatemalan roots in the music video for “Luna De Xelajú,” released today (Mar. 31).
Since launching her music career in 2009, Moreno has earned two Grammy nominations. In 2017, the Guatemalan singer-songwriter was nominated for Best Latin Pop Album for Ilusión. Last year, she was up for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album for Alegoría. For the first single from her upcoming X Mí (Vol. 1) EP, she recorded the Guatemalan classic “Luna de Xelajú” with Oscar.
“I’ve been singing this song since I was a teenager living in Guatemala so it’s very special to me,” Moreno tells Remezcla. “It’s a gorgeous song written by Paco Pérez, who was a Guatemalan composer in 1944, and yet the melody is so timeless.”
Oscar, who is also Guatemalan, has previously flexed his musical chops in movies like “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “10 Years.” What’s notable about his duet with Moreno is his singing in Spanish with her. Moreno and Oscar beautifully harmonize their voices in their haunting rendition of “Luna de Xelajú.”
“Oscar is an incredible singer, songwriter, and guitarist,” Moreno says. “I’ve sung this song with Oscar a few times live, so I knew I had to do this duet with him. I asked him last year if he would want to record it, and he replied that he would love to.”
Since Moreno’s X Mí (Vol. 1) is an acoustic EP, Oscar and her recorded “Luna de Xelajú” through a live take. The music video for the song captures their performance at the Palace Theatre in downtown L.A. Oscar also played guitar while singing with Moreno. The music video was directed by Diego Contreras through his production company Fireland.
“My grandmother Graciela Argentina Nicolle de Estrada would perform ‘Luna De Xelajú’ in the concert halls of Guatemala,” Oscar added in a statement. “Growing up, it was always hummed or sung as a lullaby by my mother Eugenia, and was a favorite of my uncle Guillermo’s. I’m grateful to Gaby for asking me to share this song as a way of honoring my family and all of Guate.”
X Mí (Vol. 1) will be released on May 5. In Apr. and June, she will be joining the band Nickel Creek on their tour for a few dates. Moreno is also working on her next album, which will mostly include songs in English.
Check out the music video for “Luna de Xelajú” below.