Tag Archives: Time Out Sao Paulo

Review: Junio Barreto – Setembro

Review of Junio Barreto’s latest album for Time Out Sao Paulo November 2011:

Junio Barreto

Any Junio Barreto release will always be dominated by his voice – a relaxed yet powerful croon, full of character – and Setembro is no different. Barreto flexes his vocal chords over 10 tracks that vary between classic samba-jazz and laid-back funky numbers with dashes of ska and reggae.

Tracks like “Serenada Solidao” and “Gafieira da Mare” are the kind of up-beat sambas that will make you want to get down to the beach straight away. Yet there are also reflective numbers such as “Alento da Alagoinha” whose tumbling drums tick all the ‘late night jazz’ boxes. In fact, percussion plays a pivotal role in this album, with the rhythm section ensuring you can dance to all the songs on the album, whether the party is in full swing or things have slowed down for the last dance of the night.

Barreto is joined by some of Brazil’s finest young musicians on this album, people like Céu, the guys from Nacao Zumbi and even Seu Jorge, who plays guitar on one track, and they keep the album musically interesting from start to finish, leaving a musical mix that will get your feet moving but will also warrant repeat listens.

Sound of the Underground: Lucas Santtana

Sound of the Underground preview written for Lucas Santtana’s show in Sao Paulo. Printed in Time Out Sao Paulo November 2011.

Sound of the Underground
Lucas Santtana

If there’s one person that represents the “melting pot” culture of Brazilian music it’s Lucas Santtana – each of his four albums has focused on a different musical style, starting with a mix of African grooves and Brazilian percussion on his debut, before moving onto the electronic-based beats of Rio’s favelas and later dub music. His most recent album Sem Nostalgia was constructed just using guitar and vocals, yet sounded like the free-flowing electronica of Four Tet or Thom Yorke. It’s an album that has earnt him much praise in both the UK and USA, where he is applauded for both his ability to write a great melody and the sonic explorations that his albums normally involve.

Live, Santtana sticks to his more up-tempo numbers, mixing relentless rhythms with infectious melodies and a sound that is clearly influenced by African, Jamaican and international pop music yet still sounds quintessentially Brazilian.

Review: Copacabana Club – Tropical Splash

Review written for Time Out Sao Paulo August 2011:

Copacabana Club
Tropical Splash

Copacabana Club are not from Copacabana, or even from Rio for that matter; they hail from Paraná. Yet this is the kind of music you could imagine a bunch of friends from Copacabana playing. That is, if Brazilians made pop music like this. Copacabana Club’s music is closer to Alphabeat or New Young Pony Club than any Brazilian contemporaries, with their English lyrics suggesting this is how they think of themselves.

With their dual male/female vocals, spiky guitar riffs and bubbling synth lines, Copacabana Club show throughout this album that they are ready to become an international band, peppering their songs with the kinds of hooks that will instantly get people moving and melodies stuck in heads. This is most convincing on the opening salvoes of “Mrs Melody” and “Sounds Like Confusion” where the band’s non-stop energy never becomes grating, mostly due to the amount of ideas they manage to pack into each song.

They also manage to mix things up too, with “Sex Sex Sex” being the kind of slow-burning plea you might expect with that title, and “Peaches”, which continues the theme, albeit this time with the kind of biting guitars and programmed drums that you might expect from Sleigh Bells (one of 2010’s biggest revelations). The best track here though is “Comeback”, a summertime anthem which takes a minute to get going, but then never really feels like it’ll go away. With songs like this it is just possible that Copacabana Club may be a band that never goes away too.

Sound of the Underground: Cérebro Eletrônico

A preview of Cérebro Eletrônico’s show at Studio SP, part of my Sound of the Underground column, written for Time Out Sao Paulo August 2011.

Cérebro Eletrônico
Studio SP

In many ways Cérebro Eletrônico are the quintessential Sao Paulo indie band. Their lead singer Tato Aeroplano has been playing in bands in the city for years and has gradually built up a loyal following, yet it’s only in the last couple of years with Cerebro Eletronico that he’s started to get truly national success. Their music is a rhythmic blend of indie-rock with pleading vocals, plenty of hooks and sing-along choruses like on “Cama” and “Decência”. This is a great chance to catch a quality Brazilian indie band with the extra passion of a home crowd.