About this time last year, I was hanging out in Copacabana beach (that’s Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) where I heard Céu’s music playing from a taxi cab whizzing by. Needless to say, the artist’s music brings me only happy memories, so I was eagerly anticipating her third studio album, Caravana Sereia Bloom. The release has a 1960s tropical music feel to it, and I can almost imagine myself as a pin-up girl with cat-eye sunglasses lounging on Ipanema Beach while listening to it. Not a bad place to be.
The album begins with the bouncy “Falta de Ar,” a nostalgic track that makes you feel like you’re in a taxi cab whizzing through town, head sticking out of the window. “Amor de Antigos” is a more melancholic tune, but still upbeat, which makes sense, given that the name of the song translates to “Love of Old.” “Asfalto e Sal” is another chirpy tune that is simply feel-good, complete with horns, while “Retrovisor,” one of my favorites on the album, has a cool old-school reggae and drum machine sound to it.
“Teju na Estrada” is a short interlude that had this really groovy percussion that I wish lasted longer, but it led to possibly the grooviest track on the album, “Contravento.” While listening to this track, I found myself dancing around the kitchen, rolling down the window while driving, humming along randomly in the cafe with my headphones on…you get the idea. Céu’s vocals are calming and fun at the same time, and I’m never in a bad mood when I hear her voice.
I thought of the circus when I heard the next song, “Palhaco,” and sure enough, the track is about clowns (“palhaco” means clown). Ironically, it’s not a happy song. It is the only melancholy tune on the album, but again, Céu’s soothing voice reassures you that it’s all going to be okay. And you know, after a long day running around in Los Angeles, it’s nice to unwind this way.
The mood picks up again with “You Won’t Regret It,” which features Céu singing this reggae tune in English. “Sereia,” a crazy vocal number of only forty seconds in length, is worth listening to through headphones for the stereo effects. Super cool and dreamy. It flows into the next song, “Baile de Llusao,” which again takes you back to the psychedelic 1960s with its groovy guitar leads. “Fffree” is a short, soulful song in English that leads to another soulful English tune, “Streets Bloom.” I just had to sing along to this one (even though I didn’t really know the words). I love the final line, “When I die, I’ll be not aware of who I am / But I’m more alive than ever.” Beautiful song, Céu.
My only complaint? That the final track, “Chegar em Mim,” was my favorite one. I had to pass through 12 tracks to get to that one! If you listen to it, you’ll see why it’s my favorite. It’s quirky, musical, thoughtful with the effects, and super groovy. This song was the one on repeat in my iTouch. But enough about what I think about the album. It’s time you check it out for yourself, and hear why Céu is considered one of the modern stars of Brazil. You won’t be disappointed.
Céu North American Tour:
June 9 – Princeton, NJ – Pettoranello Gardens Amphitheater
June 10 – New York, NY – Highline Ballroom
June 12 – Washington, DC – 6th & I Historic Synagogue
June 14 – Chicago, IL – Double Door
June 15 – Dakota Jazz Club – St. Paul, MN
June 17- Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
June 19 – Phoenix, AZ – Musical Instrument Museum
June 20 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern
June 21- Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre
June 22 – San Francisco, CA – Herbst Theatre (SF Jazz)
June 25 – Seattle, WA – The Triple Door
June 26 – Vancouver, BC – Rio Theatre
June 28 – Allston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
For more info on Céu (and to buy her new album), check out her official page.