Some of you may recognize Lorena Orlando as one half of the Venezuelan duo Jóvenes y Sexys. So, after a long-seeming hiatus, we now know what she’s been up to! She’s been composing tracks and lyrics for her solo project, Loocila, for which she just released her debut album, Coclea. With the help of Demedinas’ Raúl Sanabria, the album is a folk pop and rock endeavor in which Orlando talks love and a little bit of politics with a lot of heart. The album starts off slowly, with Orlando struggling to hit notes that are too high for her comfort, in songs like “La nueva alegría de vivir” and “Arrullo.” The melodies are beautiful and slightly sad, yet it’s a shame that she sounds a bit awkward in them. While the first three tracks are off to a rocky start, she fares a lot better with rockers like “Déjate Llevar” and “Mala Noticia,” the first single off the album. In them she sounds amazing and in her element. Accompanied by a resounding rock guitar, she denounces peer pressure with a striking critique in “Déjate Llevar,” and in “Mala Noticia” she does the same for the bad news that surrounds her. The rest of the album flows a lot smoother with heartfelt ballads that have tinges of her influences, which include PJ Harvey, Natalia Lafourcade, and José González, among others. You can hear Gonzalez’s influence clearly in the beautiful acoustic track “Al Mar.” She also collaborates with Las Acevedo in “Hoy,” which features their signature sunny pop sound. Despite its odd beginning, Coclea is a record that signals Orlando’s evolution into a solo artist with a definitive sound. Grab the free download on her bandcamp.