About the album
Rodrigo Leão is a multi-faceted composer and therefore there are many entrance doors to his work. Songs, his new album is one of them. Conceived as the first step in a possible trilogy that both reviews material already released and anticipates new paths, Songs collects pieces sung in English that have punctuated Rodrigo Leão’s discography since Cinema.
The voices of Sonia Tavares (The Gift), Ana Vieira, Beth Gibbons (Portishead) Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy), Stuart Staples (Tindersticks), Scott Matthew and Joan as Policewoman gave a universal character to the music of Rodrigo Leão during the last decade through the poetic use of the English language on songs that marked the albums Cinema (2004), A Mãe (2009) and A Montanha Mágica (2011).
Songs stems exactly from that idea of universal vocation and collects three songs from Cinema – ‘Lonely Carousel’, ‘Deep Blue’ and ‘Happiness’ – as many of A Mãe -‘ Cathy ‘,’ Sleepless Heart ‘and’ This Light Holds So Many Colours’ – one of A Montanha Mágica – “Terrible Dawn” – and also three that have been put together specially for this collection. The new songs have the collaboration of Scott Matthew, who first worked with Rodrigo Leão on his previous record, A Montanha Mágica, and Joan As Policewoman, with whom the Portuguese composer is collaborating for the first time.
The album opens with the new song ‘The Long Run’, a superb performance of Joan As Policewoman on an arrangement that is Rodrigo Leão in classic mode and this is also the single that presents Songs. Moreover, the track that features the voice of Scott Mathew, ‘Incomplete’, is an extraordinary exercise in style that reveals a new facet of the music of Rodrigo Leão, perhaps a dramatic pop that sounds new with the beautiful voice of the Australian singer. There is still a small instrumental, “Lost Words”, a song that only lacks the words or even that lacks nothing, since some believe that there is poetry even in silence.
Rodrigo speaks of Songs as a first step in a trilogy that may never even get out of his head. Those other pieces can be other ways to get into his work, through the songs in Portuguese that he has scattered throughout his discography, a result, mainly, of his collaboration with brazilian singers, or maybe through the songs that he experimented in spanish, getting close to tangos and other milongas that have also painted special moments of his work.
Those other universes may deserve other organizations, exploring a more Iberian aspect of his output and another more focused on an Atlantic perspective, for example. But for now, the first chapter of the planned trilogy that reviews his ouvre is entitled Songs. The composer sees this album as a systematization of a side of his music that leans more towards pop, present specially since Cinema and beyond. This is because, as Rodrigo stresses, “pop always existed” in his music, that passion for the song form capable of winning our thoughts and our feelings once our ears discover it.