Seeing as we’re All Aboard for a trip to Portugal in 2018, I thought I’d start paying attention to some weird Portuguese music for you. 800 Gondomar are from Rio Tinto and they describe themselves as ‘The toughest and most heartfelt power trio to come out of Portugal,’ which is fair enough. Their first album Linhas de Baixo is full of the kind of chuggy, atmospheric noise that goes with smoky rooms and boys who stare at you through lank fringes, but I’ve shared with you their most recent song Sou Cidadão, which has a bit of a groove and you can dance to it. Also, if you’re in Germany, France or the Netherlands you might be able to catch them live with Sunflowers (who’ve also been featured on here).
We got to see a lot more of the Eurovision winning songwriter than normal in 2017, because not only is Luísa Sobral an excellent songwriter and performer, she’s also a big sister who stepped up to the rehearsal plate for her little brother who wasn’t ready to travel. I’d argue any day of the week that at Eurovision the songwriter should be given just as much prominence as the person interpreting the song on stage, so it’s nice that it worked out this way.
So here’s a bit of love for Luísa. She too survived a reality TV singing competition, and got her first album ‘The Cherry On My Cake’ out in 2011. It’s a very relaxed, accessible retro jazz album and her cooing vocals are delicious. Since then she’s had three more albums out – the most recent being ‘Luísa’ which isn’t available on streaming services, but which you can buy from her webstore. [hint hint]
She’s touring Portugal over the summer, but maybe if we ask very nicely she’ll come and do some gala performances in various capitals around Europe?
But what I really wanted to show you was her homemade video for Para Ti. Be ready to wipe away a tiny happy tear by the end.
Continuing our Brazilian theme, we go for something completely different. This is Séculos Apaixonados, who are modern day Brazilian hipsters who make the kind of shiny soul-oriented 80’s style AOR that makes you imagine yachts, pastel jackets with the sleeves rolled up and uncomfortable bikinis. A bit like Hall and Oates, or the Style Council, if the Style Council were also obsessed with carioca funk. This is the first single off their second album and I’m fascinated by it.
While we’re all drinking our fill of televised elite sports from Rio, let’s continue with some Brazilian music. This is the brand new debut album from Brazilian singer Aline Reis, who is a different Aline Reis from the woman who has been playing in goal for the Brazilian Olympic football team.
This is probably a bit more what you’d expect from Brazilian music than last night’s parody metal excesses. There are beautiful acoustic guitar parts, there is gently groovy Latin percussion and the whole thing has an air of hushed tropical celebration.
I haven’t found the web presence of Aline Reis (the singer) because Aline Reis (the goalkeeper) is algorithmically winning out at the moment. She used to be in a band called Saia Rodada, but now she’s gone solo. This is as much as I know [EDIT: I think it turns out that is a different Aline Reis who is a singer, I think this might be the equivalent of being called Rachel Smith in the UK]. Please enjoy.
[EDIT 2: We’ve heard from the woman herself! You can enjoy the album on Soundcloud too]
And here’s the second half of our Grand Final. This time we’re looking at some music that sits somewhere within the broad church that is pop.
The Gift are an alternative band from Portugal who’ve been going for over 20 years. Their most recent single, Classico is an expansive, emotional piece of chamber pop, with a big billowy string arrangement and a weepy chorus. The rest of the band’s work seems to reach from the Jesus & Mary Chain to chart anthems that you could give to the winner of the X Factor. This band should be enormous everywhere, really.
From France we’ve got the new single from Parisian dance chaps, It’s A Fine Line. You’ll recognise the voice on the track as being that of Alex Kapranos. Even after a few listens I’m still not quite sure what this is about, or what it even is. It’s definitely got a film noir slink to it, so give it a couple of listens to sink in.
Clássico -The Gift [Huge, sophisticated widescreen cinematic anthem]
The Delivery – It’s a Fine Line ft. Alex Kapranos.
A bit of delightfully relaxing stuff this evening, after the full-on nature of Austria vs Hungary. In a first for Listen Outside, I’ve got a rather nice song from Portuguese band ÁTOA which is very chill, very different to what you’d expect from a Portuguese boy band. I’ve also got a lovely bit of acoustic pop from Icelandic band Ylja, which has gorgeous harmonies and can be recommended to those who like The Staves and First Aid Kit.
Distancia – ÁTOA [Very relaxed guitar pop from what I believe to be a boy band]
Út – Ylja [Beautiful harmonies and a bit of cosy/chilly Icelandic gloom]