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EPISODE #431
SUN MORNING, 27 DEC 2020

Chico Bernardes

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Humans behind episode #431 👩👨

Curator: Sarah
Writer: Sarah
Illustrator: Camille Célestin

Fresh music selected without compromises, since 2011 💎

MailTape is a nonprofit art collective run by volunteers united by their love for music. We are committed to offering an experience that respects you: ethical design, 100% human curation, no ads, no external trackers.

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The last Sunday morning of 2020 has arrived, and so does our last MailTape episode of this year. For our reflections and sighs that accompany leaving 2020 behind us, we take comfort in the music that has buoyed us through this strange time to be alive.

We are thrilled that Brazilian multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Chico Bernardes joins us for our year’s last episode. A trained classical guitarist in the process of releasing a second album, Chico levels a carefully curated selection of retro releases to give you another breath of musical beauty in 2020. 

Chico Bernardes’s selection

Harry Nilsson – Miss Butter’s Lament

Chico: I got in touch with Nilsson’s work a few years ago, when a friend of my father showed me the “Nilsson Sings Newman” record, and I loved it, spent lots of days listening on repeat. This song I chose from “Nilsson Sessions 1967-1968” has this beautiful and inspiring arrangement that I really enjoy to hear.

Molly Drake – I Remember

Chico: It was outstanding when I heard Molly Drake for the first time. It got me to rethink about the technical aspects of a recording. The way her voice and piano sound on old tape hiss is so nostalgic. I’m a big fan of Nick Drake as well, both of them share some special beauty with simplicity, which is something I search for in my songs.

Maria Bethânia – Olhe o Tempo Passando

Chico: I really love Maria Bethânia’s voice, and this song has such beautiful arrangements. The lyrics talk about the heartbreaking aspect of time flying while the lover waits for the other one that won’t come back. Classic story, everybody been there, I guess. Really enjoy this record, “ A Tua Presença”, from 1971.

MailTape’s selection

Chico Bernardes – Em Meu Lugar

Sarah: Chico wrote this song in the beginning of 2020, sitting alone with his guitar at the top one of Portugal’s hotel buildings. Em Meu Lugar, meaning In My Place, describes how all of Chico’s thoughts live within him, making a world of the people he loves, of his memories, and of his experiences of emotion. This inner world is one that travels wherever he does. The song recognizes his immediate solitude but also takes comfort in the company within him. Such a beautiful sentiment, especially today. Speaking to Chico about the song’s production, the track took on new significance during its recording experience. The soaring instrumentals and striking harmonies made up by the violins, trumpets, violas, and clarinets were all recorded remotely by each musician during Brazil’s quarantine, patched together to form this seamless composite of sound. Wonderful :)

Elan Noon – Modern Blues

Sarah: The first track on Elan Noon’s album Colour Story. I love the guitar riffs that roll through the periphery of this one, the melody is a bit jarring. The brass transition halfway along the track deepens the mood of the track, thoroughly establishing modern blues. A go-to track for reflecting.

Piry Reis – Chão Vermelho

Sarah: This track comes from the 1970 debut album of Brazilian guitarist Piry Reis (known on this album as Piri), called “Vocês Querem Mate?”. The conversation between the flute and vocals is captivating, as is the track’s dynamic tangling with melodic dissonance. This song and the entire album features Brazilian folk traditions of bossa and samba patterned with the psychedelic influences of the 1970’s in the most delightful way.

Gábor Szabó – San Franciscan Nights

Sarah: Gábor Szabó’s 1967 album, Wind, Sky, and Diamonds, collaborated with the California Dreamers for 11 cover tracks. The album departed from Gábor Szabó’s typical instrumental album release, but Gábor Szabó’s emphasis on guitar melodies and soloing in each song make listening to the album tremendously engaging. First released by The Animals, the cover of San Franciscan Nights featuring on this album is dynamite, especially for Szabó’s soloing and guitar accents that weave around the vocals of the California Dreamers. It still has so much of the protest aspect intended in the original release, including the track’s ominous set of interlude chords that starkly contrast the later lush chorus. Such a balance of sound, and a vibrant song to end the last MailTape episode of 2020.

That’s it for this morning, and for the year! As always, thank you for taking the time to listen. It was a delight to welcome Chico Bernardes for a thoughtful and vibrant Sunday selection. Thank you to Camille Célestin for this episode’s brilliant illustration! Happy New Year from MailTape to you :)

Sarah.

Humans behind episode #431 🤗

Curator: Sarah
Writer: Sarah
Illustrator: Camille Célestin

Fresh music selected without compromises, since 2011 💎

MailTape is a nonprofit art collective run by volunteers united by their love for music. We are committed to offering an experience that respects you: ethical design, 100% human curation, no ads, no external trackers.

We are volunteers ✊

Your donation helps keeping Mailtape alive and improving it.

Become a patron 🙌

I ❤️ MailTape