"An extraordinarily accomplished debut by a band with something to say" 4 out of 5 stars - Songlines Magazine
"One of the albums of the year so far!" - Strut Records
"Perfect Vibes" - Rob Da Bank
"A wonderful mix of Afro-Brazillian rhythms fused with contemporary London jazz and psychedelic textures, beautiful vibes!" - Mr. Bongo
Caravela’s debut full length LP ‘Orla’ is an intoxicating mix of Afro-Brazillian rhythms and contemporary London jazz drenched in modern psychedelic and progressive textures.
The band’s deep and infectious grooves form the basis from which they can showcase their beautiful and mature songwriting craft. Lyrics touching on social and environmental issues in both Brazil and Cape Verde, as well as reflections on modern life, weave between the songs in Loubet’s native Portuguese. Initially inspired by a recent period of living in Bahia, Brazil, interacting and working with local musicians there, Caravela took that experience and melded it alongside their wide range of influences to deliver a stunning set of contemporary songs.
Hypnotic and groove-laden percussion ties together all the different elements Caravela are bringing to the table, from Afro-Brazilian influences like candomblè music or the tropicalia of Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso with some darker, electronic elements reminiscent of Radiohead, electric era Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. There’s also a grittiness from the band’s music evolving from within London’s contemporary jazz scene that makes Caravela’s music uniquely their own. The African and Brazillian rhythms and jazz approach remain at the core of the groups sound, but the development and growth of their own songwriting, diverse range of textures and influences and their soaring vocals and spiritual lyrics make their sound so distinct.
‘Orla’ showcases the Caravela’s growth from their debut EP in 2017, building on their digging into Brazilian and Cape Verdian music to develop their songwriting and sound. ‘Orla’ represents the growing sense of identity of Loubet and Sousa’s songwriting partnership, organically developing the songs through spontaneously singing lyrics and melodies over Sousa’s ideas on guitar, the music came together very naturally.
Lead single ‘A Macieira’ builds on a clipped and funky guitar line, strong percussion and tight, syncopated drums as Loubet’s incredible vocals soar above the band, reflecting on the folk themes of maturity and innocence, as with the eyes of an old woman, strong and steady, like the old apple tree.
‘Vale do Capão’, a deep cut that highlights the psychedelic musical textures the band are exploring, documents the experience of Vale do Capão in Bahia and finding communion with nature.
Both ’Mar Pretu’ a stunning, brief experimental song and ‘Pexi Secu’, a stirring song that builds musically to a dramatic and dark climax, both highlight the suffering in fishing villages caused by oil pollution at sea that affects both Brazil and Cape Verde, two countries that share an ocean as well as a deep connection, both spiritually and musically.
‘Liame de Mel’, Portuguese for ‘bond of honey’ is a beautiful, stripped back song where Loubet sings of a relationship ending, but the special bond that remains over just Sousa’s raw guitar.
‘Um e Meio’, a modern heavyweight of a song that musically builds around some beautiful piano work from Costi and haunting, spacious guitar work from Sousa, is a song dedicated to Juraci Tavares, the composer, singer and poet from Bahia who is fighting to preserve black culture in the region. The band spent time with Juraci during their trip to Bahia as he shared poems, songs and his life experiences with the group. The song is about the enriching exchange of life and music that happened on the trip. The song also features Dizraeli, a prominent force in London’s contemporary sound as well as an activist, who delivers an incredible piece of spoken word poetry amongst the music.
‘Orla’ closes with ‘Solta o Sinal’, the band’s humble dedication to samba from Bahia, the ‘samba de roda’ and their first experience of hearing Brazilian music from their parents. Joao Mendes, a renowned musician from Santo Amaro guests on acoustic guitar.
The album is released on the 26th February 2021.
Inês Loubet Franco - Vocals
Telmo Sousa - Electric & Nylon String Guitar
Joseph Costi - Piano, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer & Synthesizers
Greg Gottlieb - Electric & Double Bass
Ben Brown - Drumkit
Jansen Santana - Percussion, Backing Vocals
Dizraeli - Vocals on "Um e Meio"
João Mendes - Steel String Guitar on "Solta o Sinal"
All tracks written by Inês Loubet and Telmo Sousa
Lyrics on "Um e Meio" by Juraci Tavares & Spoken Word by Dizraeli
Produced by Caravela
Engineered, mixed & mastered by Rui Ferreira
Recorded at Giant Wafer Studios and Estúdio Antena Zero in February 2020
Vinyl master at Curved Pressings
Art Direction and Design by Degrau
(C) None More Records 2020
Initial Run of 300 vinyl records. Pressed at Curved Pressings, Hackney.
released February 26, 2021