by Zanja Madre

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes large fold out lyric sheet with full album art by printed on sugarcane paper.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Mid-Latitudes via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days

      $5 USD


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $3 USD  or more




Zanja Madre is the solo project of Martin Lopez-Iu. Mid-Latitudes is his debut album. Deeply rooted in places, the songs explore humans' relationship to landscape, drawing inspiration from the maddening Santa Ana winds of Southern California, the demise of the Mesoamerican Teotihaucan civilization, the breaking of the St. Francis Dam and William Mulholland's subsequent fall from grace, phantasmal Icelandic cats, bleak love in New York winters and the empty promises of West Coast highways.

Martin wrote the album over a couple years in which he relocated back to his home in Los Angeles and began to wrap his head around concepts of home and belonging, learning what it means to put down roots and truly belong to a place. 

The album was recorded intermittently over a couple more years. Beginning in an isolated ranch house in Joshua Tree, CA and continuing in various practice spaces, friends' apartments and his parent's house in Los Angeles. He enlisted the help of his friends and longtime musical partners Amanda Jones, Joshua Fu, and Lee Harcourt, who lent their immeasurable talents and guidance to the album. The album was mixed by Brandon Eggleston (The Mountain Goats, Modest Mouse, tUnE-yArDs) in Portland, OR and mastered by Ryan Morey (Arcade Fire, SUUNS) in Montreal, QC.

Fernando Garcia designed the album art. Check out his amazing work at fernandoisai.com.

The album is dedicated to Martin's parents for their unwavering love, support and wisdom. 


released November 3, 2016



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Zanja Madre Los Angeles, California

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Track Name: Mulholland's Nightmare
A knock comes at my door at this ungodly hour
I startle from my dreams, wonder, “what could this mean?”
Night birds on the porch stop their song short
Sirens scream through the oak trees

And water fills the town

From a hill above the valley I gaze in grief
Watch as my city is swept to sea
Oh St. Francis reach out your hand
But leave me here with no amends

And water fills the town

Cars hurdle and bound high ground
New California dreams are drowned
In the path that the water remembers

I lock myself up tight
Draw the curtains and turn out the light
And sit with the pain in my stomach
Track Name: Feral
Cats fighting in the alleyway wake me from my sleep
Defenders of territory, noble and mean
And the moon’s floodlight from a zenith in the sky
Catches for a second those marble eyes

Nothing to eat
Too cold to sleep
Walk the whole night through
Icy nose and frozen toes
Show me how you

Stick to the side of shadows and step so silently
Across the lava fields, ancient and bleak
Appear then disappear as you perk up your ears
Not a living soul for miles and nothing to fear

Just the fake escape of vagrancy
Freedom never stays
A feral wind picks up again
And carries me away
Track Name: Miramar
See the old dog lie down on the steamy concrete
A grin upon his lips beneath the solar eclipse
The last living thing to walk the streets

See the lone crow take flight from the telephone wire
And the palm trees sway in a dusty breeze
Dreams of clear blue skies, wings span wide

So peel me off the road
It’s time to head home
For what it’s worth I have searched in the distance
For something I could hold in my fists

Put a penny on the tracks up in Miramar
The smell of chaparral
The old mission’s bell
Sends a solemn note up the coast

Well freeways ain’t so free
The way they twist and weave
But end up nowhere any different from here
You’re always thinking of where you’d rather be

The train’s romantic moan
A passing parade of snow
It’s never real as it flies past my window
The cardboard cut out trees caught in the high beams
They shiver and shake with no roots

See the old dog lie down on the steamy concrete
Blood upon his paws as twilight falls
Track Name: Rock in My Shoe
Got your daddy’s eyes and your mother’s temper
Waited tables every summer
Serving food that you can’t eat
Everyone needs a little pity

Well I know that it’s out of the question
But if you want you can take a walk with me
Maybe if you don’t have much to do
Like a little rock stuck in my shoe

With your feet on the dash and the sun on your face
Couldn’t keep my eyes on the highway
Like the last remains of coastal sage
These kinds of things tend to fade away

Well I know that it’s out of the question
But if you want you can pack your bags with me
Maybe if the road is good to you
Like a little rock stuck in my shoe

Fold up all your pain, my child
Step back and stare at it for a while
Take only what you need then come find me
You must know where to look by now

I never stray too far away
From where it all fell out of place
Think you might be close tonight
Burning candles at the speed of light

Well I know what is done is done
Put away but not forgotten
Because I still carry you around
I still carry you around
I still carry you
Like a little rock stuck in my shoe
Track Name: Crop Circles
The lion that comes to me
With the head of the past
Keeps the heart of a parliament
And all the things that I lack
But what could I do?
What could I do?

Turn away
Crash that single passenger plane
Laugh it off
Laugh until the feelings all just stop

Now the fossil in permafrost
A copper thief in the grass
Decaying symbols of gold
At the lemonade stand
But what could I do?
What good could I do?

Sink or swim
The same fate now I’m always so vacant
And gone so far
To not come back is easier

Thoughts so cruel crop up soon
Shapes and lines that show up overnight
And there’s no one around to tell or even thank

So I keep it all in again
Until it doesn’t exist
The quiet murmur of life
I always heard it persists
But I hear nothing now
And feel nothing at all

But I will wait
Like a soldier before daybreak
And dig and dig
One day I won’t come up empty handed
Track Name: Dark Glasses
We get all dressed up nice and go out every night
But the drink in my hand stumbles
I’ve been looking for somewhere to hide

All that I can’t say but finds its way out anyway
Across our silent dinner tables
Everything is cold and stale today

With your sweatshirt hooded and those dark glasses on
You keep your head down as you walk through the crowd
Got to keep your distance from us humans

So I ask you about your day and you answer just the same
Hey that’s okay I never understood how conversation worked anyway

But your eyes they betray you
Just like my shaking hands
And if it wasn’t for the wine
You know I would have never asked you to dance

With you sweatshirt hooded and those dark glasses on
You keep your head down as you walk through the crowd
Got to keep you distance from us humans
Track Name: Wolf in Women's Clothing
First train out of Harlem
Stomach full of bile
North along the Hudson
Back to the valley
To wash away the sin
But I know I’ll be back again

Early morning blue
And the riverside wind
Carries up the avenue
Everyone bundled in
I’ve met you all before
At the train station’s sliding door

And I’ve seen
I’ve seen the path to walk upon
To walk upon
But I’ve known
I’ve known the past to come along
To come along

In your dingy little dorm room
Raskolnikov would dig
We drank to the impending doom
Like peasants in the plague
I’m sick of self-defeat
But sweetie, take what you need

Subway station stairs
Down to the halls of hell
It’s hard enough to care
Let alone to help
A million miles below
The blackened New York snow

And I’ve seen
I’ve seen the path to walk upon
To walk upon
But I’ve known
I’ve known the past to come along
To come along
Track Name: Hummingbird
Everything is quiet and has been for a while
Those cliché rainy day blues at my window
As I sit like so many men who’ve come before me
Watching my hummingbird go

Oh how you’d hover
Oh how you’d buzz
And I’ll curse the day that I let you fly away
And watched you rise above

Well it’s all blood and guts now and I’m getting used to it
Like all those movies my dad took me to before he should’ve
Oh Mrs. Ostrich, Mr. Turtle teach me how to live
Because I’d rather ignore than forget

Oh how you’d hover
Oh how you’d buzz
But after a while I’d no longer smile
And soon you were gone for good

Never again will I hear you humming in my ear
You flew away on a cold winter’s day
South to some warmer place

But oh how you’d hover
And oh how you would buzz
So I’ll plant some seeds, promise nectar so sweet
But I know it’ll never be enough
Track Name: Santa Ana Season
At the confluence of the rivers
I took off my shoes and entered
One deep breath and then I was gone
And the scene returned to motion

Like the wind across the desert
Headed for the suburbs
To clog our engines and break our fences
Who will snap first?

And curse the flying dirt
The dry heat and his thirst
Nose and lungs that hurt
Once a year the winds reverse

I walked down that familiar hill
Past the weeping willow
And the school yard fence with its rusted hinge
In the afternoon glowed

Like the stainless steel kitchen
Of our San Fernando mansion
Where I took your life with a butcher knife
Called it a crime of passion

Oh how these winds do madden
Blown across the canyon
To our city’s endless expansion
Baby, it’s Santa Ana season
Track Name: Rain Dance Pt. 2
The pyramid in the sun casts a long shadow on
The Avenue of the Dead
Our temples begin to crumble and the soil turns to dust
What has happened to us?

Somewhere we went wrong, stalks of corn turning brown
And bending towards the ground
Clouds begin to gather, the furrowed brows of our gods
But rain never falls

Hand in hand we pray and plant and pray again
Send off each seed with a kiss and a blessing

To guide and light its path through the starry aftermath
The feathered serpent
Will return

Brown smoky sky, ash and flames rising high
Last thing I see before I die
First they built the fire then tied me up right there inside
And danced all night

All eyes now on mountain peak and breaking clouds
Catch a glimpse of scales and a feathered tail

Glide and then descend like a welcomed old friend
Who somehow changed
Now breathing fire