Mixtape Mondays | Roots

Monday, June 06, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

This is definitely my most obscure playlist to date. And I am undoubtedly indulging myself a tiny bit by sharing it here. But I hope you can somehow relate to it. So how did we get here? I was listening to BC Camplight Blood And Peanut Butter when I thought "oh my, this sounds just like that band I used to listen to when I was in my early 20s, what are they called again?" And on my online quest, this mixtape came into being. 

Little Joy is a side-project by Rodrigo Amarante (Los Hermanos, Orquestra Imperial) and Fabrizio Moretti (The Strokes)

The band in question is a power pop group from the South of Brazil called Wonkavision. I remember when a musician friend of mine brought over a couple of their EPs and said "you need to listen to this". I got into it straight away. Both NaNaNa and Comprimidos were songs in these EPs and are now in this playlist. Ironically, this very same friend who introduced me to them was a drummer on another band also in this playlist: Ramirez.

I have to say Rio indie scene in the early 2000s was pretty small. Everyone knew absolutely everyone. So I am sure even if it wasn't for Rodrigo, I'd still have come across Ramirez. Particularly considering both them and Móveis Coloniais de Acajú had been compared a few times to my favourite Brazilian band, Los Hermanos. You most likely won't have heard of either, but as a fun fact, after Los Hermanos split up, Rodrigo Amarante went on playing with Fabrizio Moretti, the drummer of The Strokes and together they've made supergroup Little Joy - do listen to The Next Time Around, it is the perfect summer soundtrack!

Mixtape Mondays | Roots

Watch out for the odd London listing/date. Only in July last year, Amarante was touring with his solo album Cavalo and played an amazing gig at the Hoxton Bar & Kitchen. Fabrizio was also there.

But back to my indie rock Brazilian roots... Also in this weeks' mixtape another favourite of mine. They're not only two of the best people I've ever met, but Bruno Vouzella & Fernanda Marques, the duo behind Columbia, know how to write lyrics and sing our hearts out like no other indie rock band in Rio back in 2008/2009. It is a shame you can only find their first album O que você não quis dizer on Spotify, their second release, Um Quarto Escuro, is as good as if not better. Please tell me if you can also spot Radiohead in the melodies of Amanhã.

There is a lot more in this playlist and I could potentially write a dissertation on how I came across all of these bands, which other sounds they remind me of or about how much essentially British genres such as rockabilly, britpop and garage rock have influenced them. But I'd rather just wrap up with two videos. One which I remember watching on repeat so much it broke my heart first time I had seen it. And another which was released after I had moved to the UK, but it is such a catchy song and brilliant idea for a video that I simply had to. I challenge you not to fall in love with the cat in Gram's Você Pode Ir Na Janela and not to hum to the chorus of Oração, by A Banda Mais Bonita da Cidade,  even if you can't make out the lyrics in Portuguese.