It Brazilian and French music went on the most chilled out date of all time…
‘Yerakina’ is way outside my usual comfort zone of singer-songwriter music but the album is bewitching. Banda Magda has merged together the acoustic folk elements of Brazilian music with the lush romanticism of French music, a little bossa nova and a nod to Columbian and Mexican music too. The result is something that is laid back, relaxed, intimate and spicy at the same time.
The album as a whole feels like an intimate love letter. Magda uses her voice subtly to coo and entrance you – pulling you in. The acoustic guitar, brushed percussion, vibraphone, accordion, strings and brass often slink around her every move too. It never feels particuarly jazzy but its like the jazz genre dressed up as different elements of world folk and wanted to pull an alternative musician. It’s this strange and unusual blend that made me fall in love with Yae, a Japanese folk singer-songwriter. It is also the exact reason why I love ‘Yerakina’.
We move from hammered dulcimer dances with ‘Trata’ to Camile-esque French chanteuse with ‘Doralice’. Then we have elegant folk with the title track, Greek traditional guitars with ‘Petite Fleur’ and dramatic trumpets and salsa-like percussive moods with ‘Karotseris’. The way how the album feels together and flows perfectly across all these different genres, tones, moods and melodies is sublime. Various instruments take centre stage for different songs but Magda’s voice holds steady throughout guiding you home. Naturally some styles will click with you before others but the joy of surprise as you move around the globe from track to track is impressive.
World Fusion is often a dirty phrase in music but this is a fantastic example of global music done right. From the Latin guitars to the enchanting call and responses in ‘El Pescador’, I was entranced. I just can’t believe its taken me six years to find the album to begin with. Don’t you love it when you find a real hidden gem?
Recommended track: Yerakina
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