Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
May the Fourth ... bring you to State of Sound! Get tickets now.

Sound Travels: New World Music Parte Dos

If you caught Sound Travels today, you also caught a window to the future. All five of the songs for today's set were new releases; one from a legend, and four others from artists on the rise. First,  Ana Moura whose fourth album, Leva-me aos fados (Take Me to a Fado House), finds this next generation Portuguese fadista in full bloom.  Fado as is a graceful yet mournful, all-acoustic tradition that delivers the depths of love failed and always move on the chord of desperate longing. Moura's rich, exquisitely bittersweet alto is breathtaking in its strong yet aching vulnerability. She often decides which songs to sing on the spot and her connection to the Moment gives life to her fado,every melody with lyrics that cut to the core. Whether facing down a triumphant rival (Caso Arrumado - A Settled Affair) in a duel of fadistas (as they are called), dodging doom-inflected omens (Como uma nuvem no céu - Like A Cloud In The Sky), or weeping in solitude at day's end (A Penumbra - Dusk), dark and passionate and all that I love about fado and of Portugal. Ana Moura "A Penumbra" Though Las Rubias Del Norte play a style of Latin music that does not exactly exist, yet the ideas persist enough for the pair that form the core of this band whose latest album Ziguala, is an album of divine melodies wound around a whole host of histories. Peruvian Chicha, Opera, Yéyé, Rebetika and Bollywood are all at play on their latest. Las Rubias del Norte started out four years ago when Emily Hurst and Allyssa Lamb - who had been singing together in a large choir - decided to sing Mexican songs. Along with Olivier Conan, who by then had joined them on the Cuatro, they decided to put together a repertoire of vintage Latin American music. The band has since been re-interpreting songs from all across the Americas - drawing from sources both classic and obscure. Their training is as good as their voices and their melodies remind me of other great groups like Brazil's  Cuarteto Em Cy. This song stood out in particular. Las Rubias Del Norte "Porque Te Vas" Lila Downs (lee-lah) makes her debut on 88Nine, and it really was about time. Her talent is as undeniable as her beauty and her mystique-- a true chanteuse. Drawing from the native Mesoamerican music of the Mixtec, Zapotec, Maya and Nahuatl cultures is natural for this daughter of Mixtec cabaret singer Anita Sánchez. Something about her reminds me of  Yma Sumac, though her style a bit more earthy. On her latest we have a rare example of a truly good live album. Recorded at  The Fip in Paris, she is in command; holding the space with grace and aplomb and dropping songs that made their way to my ipod in a hurry. Songs like this one. Lila Downs "La Cucaracha" Almost all the artists in today's set were women, except for the subtle sounds of Brazilian master musician  Caetano Veloso who on his latest release Zee e Zie further founding new ground to sanctify the Earth with music. Really, really good album is all I'm saying. It somehow gets rock to do  samba in songs that are subtle as well as sweet. of course, I'm a bit biased because it was Veloso who got me into the more nuanced Brazilian music that the country is known for. I definitely recommend this one, which is out on Nonesuch records right now. Caetano Veloso "Cor Amarela" Last in, but perhaps the best; or at the very least my favorite of the five was Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux whose debut album 1977 hit me like a revelation. Even though I am not fluent in Spanish, her skills are manifestly evident. Catchy in a way that ultimately might make me learn but virtue of love. That's what I got for this one, hope you dig it too. Ana Tijoux "1977"

Production Manager | Radio Milwaukee