The new record is called Hi Beams. It represents a more holistic approach to writing and recording than previously attempted by the band. Lyrics and vocal harmonies for the first time are foregrounded in decidedly songlike forms. Songs made to be performed in concert rather than as a patchwork of fragmented if glittery shards.
The folks who brought you Brazil, the Portuguese, were the Renaissance envelope pushers — extreme explorer / traders like the Polynesians and Phoenicians of earlier times. They were also hard-nosed colonists who didn’t limit themselves to South American real estate. Portugal’s African territories once hung like a pendant on a colonial necklace stretching from Rio to India. Today, the Afro-Portuguese music that remains tells a story as complex and faceted. It is a music born of colonization and of slavery, a simultaneous speech of homesick sighs and lusty exuberance for life.