Mirrors, facades, reflections, and feelings: they seem like loose words, worthy of a visit to the dictionary, but it is with them that we review our own soul.
We look at that portrait and see longing, beliefs, happiness, or sadness. We are guided by it, with time and events passing by at a mere click.
But today is not just any day. The picture is different, irreverent: creativity at its peak, and it is with it that we reveal a supergroup that brings together people from all musical backgrounds. Fado? Jazz? Pop? Rock? Let’s call it art. Meet Mirrors.
It all started with multi-instrumentalist Justin Stanton, an artist at his best, multiple GRAMMY-winner and immense talent who spreads his true charm in the irreverent band Snarky Puppy, currently living in Portugal. The idea Stanton wanted to convey was simple: get a bunch of immensely talented musicians together, in several different areas, and each had to write a song with each of the ensemble members.
Justin Stanton brought together Gisela João, Portuguese fado singer and one of the country’s greatest talents, Michael League, founder of Snarky Puppy and another multi-instrumentalist who can make music with any material, currently living in Spain, Louis Cato, producer, singer and songwriter of Stay Human, the backing band for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, currently living in the US and Becca Stevens, a GRAMMY-Nominated, US-based accomplished vocalist and songwriter.
The recordings were made in Alto Alentejo, near Portalegre, Portugal, at the end of August this year. And this is where we see ideas, talent, will and a lot, a lot of creativity and irreverence.
Let’s stop talking and move on to the action: the talent is in the air, and it’s on this that we want to focus.
The album is about forty minutes long, and kicks off with an instant classic: “Can’t Stop Moving”. And it’s indeed a vibe we can’t stop moving to. In a gospel-meets-incredible-vocals-and-jazzy-beats tone, there’s no way to be indifferent to the ensemble’s incredible style and upbeat way of being in life. It’s not just music: it’s an experience.
“The Call” is the song that will touch our souls the most, if it wasn’t the extraordinary theme where we receive with arms (and ears) wide open our more than everything Gisela João. And if we Portuguese already know that Gisela is a hurricane of talent, we are very proud to share her with the whole world. In a mix between Portuguese and English, accompanied by Louis Cato, we are absorbed by verses that deal with the intangible bonds that exist between people, in their most intimate relationships – difficult to explain, but so easy to love.
With a lot of country to the mix – and being on top of that in deep Alentejo, where you can feel the roots of the land – we arrive at “Say It”, an incredible touch of spirituality and of reencounter with ourselves, where the instruments take hold of our beliefs, passing through more traditional sections, others more groovy and jazz and still a voice that promises to guide us.
When we think of sleep, we immediately digest a calmer image, tenuous, with little or no movement, where relaxation is predominant. “Sleep”, on the other hand, lulls us, with a guitar that would make Jack White blush, while the voice that accompanies it tells us a story, with many genres and passion to the mix. Beautiful, and to share with everyone.
Halfway through, we have one of the most intimate journeys on this album, with “Una Rosa”. In Spanish and accompanied by a sensual rhythm, we clear the way on a theme that could very well be present in the next double-o-seven.
It’s time to dance, and it’s by “Over The Line” that we lift our spirits to the sky: we found the soundtrack to the summer, in a vocal style very similar to Jessie Ware and an incredibly fresh and unique beat.
Flying into a more International Jazz-RnB-POP strand, “Weary” and “I Don’t Blame The Wind” are synonymous with quality, both in the international way it’s presented and the timeless way they’re situated. They are songs that could be from yesterday, today and next tomorrow. To listen with Grandparents, Parents or Children.
We confess: we are the most patriotic people there is – and it is with the unbreakable voice of Gisela João that we continue to dream. More than a story, “Tempestade” is a glimpse of the fado of the past, incarnated in an incredible form of the future: we have instruments, from guitar to piano, to the most wonderful thing there is: Gisela’s voice, a touch of God on the Portuguese artist and that leaves no one indifferent.
We close with a golden key, with “Life is Fine”. A song that brings all the artists together, in all their most incredible quadrants. Everything together brings a kick-ass party to our ears, the kind that sends shivers down our spine.
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, is there anyone more beautiful than me?” – we answer, in unison, no – because more than an album, this set is a piece of art, the kind we want to share with everyone and everything, at any time of the day. A WtMM recommendation.