Mariachi Flor de Toloache is a diverse, bilingual, all-woman band that fuses traditional mariachi music with jazz, blues and other forms of Latin American music. (For the non-Spanish-speaking crowd, flor de toloache means “toloache flower,” a Mexican medicinal plant often associated with magic and brujeria, or healing. It’s known to have high toxicity levels, but ancestral indigenous communities actually used it for therapeutic purposes.)
Just in time for Día de Los Muertos, Mariachi Flor de Toloache has dropped a new video for the song “La Llorona,” from its 2014 self-titled debut album. In this version of a traditional folk song, the band references a legendary ghost from Latin American folklore: La Llorona, the weeping woman, who cries for the children she has drowned. The song, written in a poem-like form, tells of spotting La Llorona as she leaves a temple and admiring her beauty.
The song’s soulful yet ominous melody is visualized in the video, which was directed by Daniel Leeb and Andrei Averbuch. Donning charro suits with black rebozos over their heads, a few of the members of Mariachi Flor de Toloache sing wistfully in scenes set in the desert and in a church. Lighting candles for La Llorona as they walk down the church’s aisle, they pay tribute to this ghostly woman, embodying an altar through song. Meanwhile, in the desert, they are surrounded by agave plants right as the sun is about to rise. “I will always love you, Llorona,” they sing, “even if my life is hard for me.”