Amanda Pascali’s newest track, “Temporary Home,” serves as an honest look into the life of an immigrant and details the struggle of being caught between two worlds. Released on March 31, as millions of refugees flee war-torn Ukraine, “Temporary Home” fuses sweeping vocals and complex classically-inspired instrumentation in order to take listeners on a journey across genre and time.
Finding inspiration in the extraordinary story of her father, Pascali explains that at 18, he “spoke out against the dictatorship in his home country and was thrown into a forced labor camp.” Two years later he moved to New York City as a refugee with asylum and began work at a refrigerator factory. “Without money, friends, or the ability to speak English as a native language, he promised himself that America would only be his temporary home,” she says.
Later falling in love with his wife, an Egyptian immigrant by way of France, Pascali’s father ended up staying in the States. The song details those early days after immigrating when it was revealed to her father that America wasn’t exactly the “gold-paved paradise he had dreamed of.”
Pascali explains that as the daughter of two immigrants from two different countries, she grew up feeling as if she was “too foreign for here, too foreign for home, and never enough for both.” Evoking that same feeling through her track, Pascali brilliantly cross-pollinates Afro-Cuban music, indie folk and even splices in samples from the American civil rights movement in order to effortlessly blend the modern world with musical stylings that are deeply rooted in history. The song ends poignantly with the question “where do you belong?” as if to point to the ceaseless struggles which encompass cultural assimilation. Through passionate storytelling and a deep connection to an omnipresent subject matter, “Temporary Home” is powerful on every level, lyrically and musically.
“Temporary Home” will be accompanied by the release of a music video for the track directed by Mexican-American filmmaker Joel Valdes and starring Gabriel Regojo, Oscar Riojas, and Amanda Pascali herself. The short film – a collaborative effort between Pascali and Valdes – tells the story of an immigrant who carries an allegorical suitcase as he perseveres through hardships in America (working in a factory, sleeping among roaches, eating stale bread) and ultimately gives that suitcase to his daughter at the end of the video. The suitcase, the roach, and the letter showcases a few of the elements of powerful symbolism that are displayed in this short-film-music-video hybrid production that captivates viewers as Pascali shares a visual representation of her father’s story.