Back to focusing on bands from outside our usual countries (Canada, US, UK, Australia) to celebrate the global event currently taking place in Brazil, the World Cup.
I’ve never gone to Brazil. The closest I’ve ever been to experiencing anything remotely Brazilian is eating at a Brazilian steakhouse, but I’m not even sure that was authentic. And my earliest memory of anything remotely Brazilian (and I’m talking extremely remote) is Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana”. Then there are of course footage of the Amazon Rainforest and travel photos of Rio, Sao Paolo, and all the lovely sandy beaches on the eastern coast.
So needless to say, I’m not familiar with Brazil and, therefore, pretty much clueless with much of the music that is being produced in this vast country. So when Baleia followed us on Twitter, I got excited. And I have to say, if this is what Brazilian folk & acid jazz sounds like, I want to hear more. Disregard the fact that I don’t understand a word of Portuguese – music is borderless; it crosses all languages, cultures, and nations.
The sextet from Rio de Janeiro recently released a new LP, Quebra Azul. which is really terrific. It is extremely cohesive from start to finish, quite complex, and multi-layered. It buzzes right from the start with “Casa”, a Lumineers-esque folk tune that is catchy and spirited. It then moves into “Motim”, a jazzy, piano-focused song. “Furo” is another jazzy number with Latin vibes and horns that might make you want to shake your hips as you listen to this song.
The highlight of the album is “In”, an upbeat, Latin-jazz tune with melody and tempo shifts. It’s a tune that oozes cool, fresh, and innovative. “Breu” is the darkest track on the album, pulsating with heavier notes and drums. It’s bit of a trippy ride that hints at Massive Attack. To end the album, “Despertador” is a 10 1/2 minute ride, starting with a smooth and low-key vibe before building into a heavier and quick pace. It’s pretty awesome.
Baleia consists of Cairê Rego, David Rosenblit, Felipe Ventura, Gabriel Vaz, João Pessanha, and Sofia Vaz. The album is streaming on Spotify in the US and you can also listen to the entire album on Soundcloud. The album is below for your ease.
BTW, baleia means whale, so I know one Portugese word.
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