Benjamim is the alter ego for Luis Nunes, a portuguese singer songwriter who previously presented himself under the name of Walter Benjamin (his very first album was entirely wrote in english). He lived in London for a journey, where he met Barnaby Keen and became friends and partners in music. Barnaby firstly went to Lisbon for “Walter Benjamin’s funeral” where a lot of Luis’ friends atempted to play on stage with for the very last time as Walter Benjamin.
Barnaby Keen is an underground artist, London-based, mentor and member of projects like Flying Ibex and Electric Jalaba, highly influenced by Afro Beat, which is notable on these tracks we present you.
Apparently the experience was good and both decided to record an album together, 1986 (both artists were born that year), which will include themes both in portuguese and in english, and yes, Barnaby sings in portuguese, with his shy brazilian accent.
They first released Warm Blood, a song where you can hear the differences between both artists and at the same time how they perfectly combine. As it begins one can easily fall in love with the intense groove and Barnaby’s voice. Is somewhere between Efterklang and Nick Murphy, but they give it a special touch that makes you inconciously want to dance.
In the beginning of this week another song was launched, this time in portuguese: Terra Firme (in english: Solid Ground). If you get the chance to know Benjamim’s work, specially his last album Auto Radio you’ll find similarities to some of those songs, obviously, but in the meantime you start to find differences: is more jazzy, smooth, the double-bass and the piano embrace this folky song, among the exotic rhythm embarking through a nostalgic trip on a sunny day. Although, the song is a protest one: is a weapon against indifference and alienation. Benjamim says “the fear of the future should not dark our present”.
Benjamim enchants with his soft deep voice, almost whispering, and in this track it takes Barnaby’s voice to this whisper conversation and it’s great. It’s a perfect match! It’s also great to hear two completely different songs like these, leaving us absolutely excited about the release of the full-album!
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More songs like this can be found at our weekly updated Spotify playlist: