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Indie Rock Band Records Popular Basque Song

Glitterfox Band releases a Basque song.

Solange Igoa, lead singer for the indie rock band Glitterfox, got her start in music singing alongside her father at Basque events. Now, the talented musician has come full circle. She and the group have released a remake of a beloved Basque song, which they will play during a performance at the Basque festival later this month in Igoa’s hometown of Bakersfield, California.

The song, Xalbadorren Heriotzean, will be released May 7. The band makes the popular song its own by giving it a disco-like twist.

Glitterfox draws on numerous influences in its music, according to guitarist and songwriter Andrea Walker, including Americana, elements of disco, rock, nostalgia, along with 80s tones and 90s grunge.

The Portland-based band has been on an upswing since last August, when they began the gradual release of six of their own songs. Xalbadorren Heriotzean is their seventh release. Igoa said she was warming up during a sound check and she began singing the Basque song, which she has sung for many years.

“Our producer got really excited,” said Igoa, during a recent interview with Euskal Kazeta, explaining how they decided to record the song. Christopher Funk, their producer and a musician with the group The Decemberists, suggested they speed up the tempo and add a disco vibe. If it didn’t work, no problem, but it turns out “it sounded really good.”

Soon after, another musician with the Decemberists came into the studio while they were recording and she just happened to have an accordion. “It was a really happy accident,” said Igoa. The accordion was perfect for the Basque song. In addition, her father, Pierre Igoa, recorded some trumpet, flugelhorn and vocals for the mix. They are pleased with the outcome.

“We’re singing in a language that almost nobody in the crowd recognizes, but they have really responded to it,” said Walker, who notes that the chorus is really catchy.


“My hope is that a bunch of non-Basque people come and start singing the song,” said Igoa, who was moved when the band’s drummer learned the words to the chorus and now sings harmony with them on it.

The song will be available, along with the rest of their music on Apple Music, Spotify, Bandcamp and their YouTube channel.

“It’s really nice for me to be singing in Basque again,” Igoa said.

Igoa said she got her start in music by singing Basque songs when she was only 12 or 13. Her father, Pierre Igoa, who played trumpet with Jean Flesher’s band, would try to get his musically talented daughter on stage whenever he played locally. Her aitatxi (grandfather) taught her how to pronounce Basque letters when she was young. She has fond memories of attending Basque summer camp, also known as Udaleku, in 2005, when it was in Bakersfield.

“It makes me so proud and happy that she continues to keep her Basque culture alive,” said her father.

Igoa and Andrea Walker met 12 years ago and began singing together.

“It was just me and Solange for a long time,” said Walker, who is now married to Igoa.

Bassist Eric Stalker joined the two in 2018, and drummer Blaine Heinonen joined them in 2022. Last year, Funk offered to manage their band. Walker and Igoa attribute their band’s upward trajectory to Funk’s management.

“He has helped us grow a lot and really quickly,” said Igoa. They now have a record label and a booking agent. Many of their concerts have been sold out and they are playing at bigger venues than they have played before. They were excited to get 400 people at a recent concert they performed in Portland.

They are in the planning stages of scheduling some concerts and music festivals in the Midwest and eventually perhaps the East Coast. See their concert calendar on their website.

This month, they’ll be playing some concerts in California, and they’ll end with the Basque festival in Bakersfield. In fact, Igoa said she has never missed a Bakersfield picnic.

“We’ll play our new single, some Basque songs and some of our own songs,” said Igoa.

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  • J

    JEANNEMay 15, 2024 at 12:45 pm

    Loved the music, the singing is excellent, beautiful voice. Loved the Basque song

    • N

      Nancy ZubiriMay 15, 2024 at 4:14 pm