Boogarins & Mdou Moctar

Mercy Lounge Nashville

Monday, September 9, 2019 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM

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Boogarins’ Fernando “Dino” Almeida and Benke Ferraz began playing music together as teenagers in the central Brazilian city of Goiânia – creating psychedelic pop in their parents’ gardens, filtering their country’s rich musical history through a very modern lens. By the time the group’s home-recorded debut LP, ‘As Plantas Que Curam’ (2013), was released worldwide, the band had recruited a proper rhythm section and were developing a name around Goiânia. Soon after, the group was booking regular gigs in São Paulo and across the country.

Sombrou Dúvida, the band’s fourth full-length release, is a question. A play on words in Boogarins’ native Brazilian Portuguese. It’s a contraction of “Sombra ou Dúvida”, the title track of the album, which translates as ‘Shadow or Doubt’. There might seem to be a darkness to the question, given that both choices aren’t exactly cheery. Yet, Dino, the smiling, Afro-donned singer of the group tells us that “shadow” refers to a feeling related to your comfort zone, whereas doubt is the uncertainty that hits people and leads them to follow their instincts.”

Boogarins’ own instincts led them to continue elaborating on the dark themes of 2017’s surprise-drop Lá Vem a Morte (Here Comes Death) in a rented house in Texas. The quartet completed several additional tracks before relocating their efforts to a nearby recording studio for multiple sessions with engineer Tim Gerron and producer Gordon Zacharias over the ensuing 2 years, alongside several North American and European tours.

For fans of previous works by the band, Fernando Almeida’s songwriting and soaring vocals guide Sombrou Dúvida in a way that’s reminiscent of the Latin Grammy-nominated second album “Manual”, which was a portrait of a live band exploring the professional recording studio for the first time. The new 10-song set builds on this premise while retaining many of the home-recorded electronic elements of Lá Vem a Morte.

The use of a large, tuned live room at Austin’s Space Recording Studio allowed Boogarins to include the bold sound of their live performances — heavy rock guitar from Benke Ferraz (also in the producer role) colliding with experimental synth noise and bass undercurrents from Raphael Vaz, all driven by the incredibly dynamic and effulgent drummer Ynaiã Benthroldo.

“We didn’t want to write songs telling people what to do, but instead help them find their own thing. So, there are more questions in the album than answers” Dino adds. In these days of uncertainty, perhaps there’s some comfort to be found by remaining in the shadows.

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