Caravana Sereia Bloom - CéU
CeU has a new band, a new sound and a new album to take her out of the studio and make new fans around North America. The new Six Degrees release is called Caravana Sereia Bloom or 'Caravan Mermaid Bloom' a title that pinpoints exactly where she seems to be in her music career; in motion, embracing her natural sensuality and blooming as a dynamic performer and a new mother (CeU was pregnant through the recording of the album). She is arguably out in front of a current crop of sambadelic singer/songwriters, and has received many accolades and nominations for 2009's Vagarosa. Because of the soft sonic palette of textures, both organic and electronic, that album felt very much like a studio construct, co-produced by one of the most in-demand Brazilian composer/producers, Beto Villares. Gui Amabis, another prominent name in Brazilian music, who also worked on Vagarosa was brought back to helm the new project. I recently saw CeU perform in Vancouver (at The Rio Theatre - how cool is that?). Seeing her new band in action underscored the live direction of Caravana Sereia Bloom and how the lush, intricate arrangements play out on stage and on disc, creating a unique thumbprint for this versatile artist. The quartet consists of a DJ, who supplies scratches, loops, samples and electronic percussion augmentation. He looks directly across stage at the kit drummer who beats out the samba rock and reggae feels. Behind CeU is the electric bassist, skilled at bent, rubbery licks and vibrato tones. And then, there's the guitarist, a young Manuel Galban with a penchant for Link Wray surf-style tremolo and 50s retro augmentation. It's a masterstroke that's up to the challenge of CeU's diverse repertoire, which spans the bouncy and irresistibly cheesy opener, Falta De Ar (Lack Of Air), to the smokey sensuality of Retrovisor (Rearview). There's even a couple of cool English compositions. Inspiration for Caravana Sereia Bloom came from the towering claustrophobia that is life in Sao Paulo and the embrace of the blooming emotions of motherhood.