There are certain people who can bridge the gaps between different camps, and Roberto Carlos Lange is one such person. Commonly known via his stage name, Helado Negro, Lange is a folk-pop singer/songwriter who blends his Latin heritage and American roots with his craft, effortlessly singing in both English and Spanish to express the beautiful universality of everyday occurrences.
His latest single, “La Naranja” which premieres today (September 29), reminds us of the simple pleasures in life. “La Naranja” translates to “The Orange” and is a callback to Lange’s childhood. “I grew up in Florida, and [I would] see fruit everywhere,” Lange tells American Songwriter. “We had orange trees and citrus trees everywhere where I grew up.
“It’s really about thinking about the world and how we can save it,” Lange continues. “How long will we have these abundant natural things? Growing up, these oranges were everywhere and it was easy for us to not care about the ones that were wasted on the floor. Now we see the end of a lot of things. We can see the depletion of so many things and it’s strange.”
The layered meaning of “La Naranja” is paralleled by its complex sound. The song opens with the violin and inches into Lange’s bouncing vocals. “It’s one of those like kind of just came together in a really wild and sporadic way,” Lange reveals. “I started recording in January of 2020 and I did a session with my friend, Taja Cheek. She performs under the name of L’Rain. She came over and I had this drum loop and this riff. Then she just started writing a baseline to it and then the lyrics just kind of started popping in my head immediately. So it was this explosion.”
Lange continued to explain that this explosion of creativity reminds him of an orange, the kind from his childhood. Once you peel an orange, the smell fills the room in an eruption of sensation. Suddenly, your senses are overwhelmed, which is what Lange ultimately attempted to recreate with his sonic ode to oranges.
In addition to the premiere of “La Naranja,” Lange is announcing the release of his upcoming album titled Far In, which will be released on October 22. Tracks “Gemini and Leo” and “Outside the Outside” will also be featured on the album along with “La Naranja.” When discussing “Gemini and Leo,” Lange states, “It’s a song about my partner and myself. She’s a Gemini and I’m a Leo. It was a fun exercise in terms of trying to talk about our relationship and the nuances of it.”
Listen to “La Naranja” by Helado Negro below, and pre-save Far In here.