NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES BEGIN JULY 5
“...a lovely album of lilting, mostly acoustic songs that are a lot like the tropicalia/bossa of Caetano Veloso. This is a discovery.” - The Vancouver Sun
"Super sick modern Brazilian vibes in line with the best of Tom Jobim, Caetano Veloso, and Arthur Verocai while touching on cosmic jazz, psych, and tropicália. A gorgeous, captivating record through and through." - Light in the Attic
"On this intoxicating LP, the hushed classic sound of Tropicália gets a gentle dusting of psychedelia" - Bandcamp
"Brazilian Folk Bliss" - Afropop
PHOTO CREDIT : Gabriel Basile // DOWNLOAD HIGH RES
Grandeza, the brilliant debut solo album from São Paulo musician Sessa, is available today in digital and vinyl formats via Boiled Records and RISCO. Sessa has long been a fixture of the American and Brazilian music scenes, known for his collaborations with Yonatan Gat and co-founding of acclaimed psych-rock group Garotas Suecas. Now, he shares the enchanting sensuality and singular beauty of his own musical vision. Grandeza points to new directions for Brazilian pop with a perfect balance of subtlety and euphoria that harmonizes its traditional and modern elements. The album displays a deep, minimalist, almost insinuated use of the rich textures and rhythms that define the songwriting history of Brazil. Comparing it to his prior works, Afropop notes how Grandeza’s gentleness enables the listener to “hear the breath of the players and the ambience of the rooms the songs were recorded in”—all as it “retains that gritty, human touch that those visceral [earlier] albums allow.”
“Grandeza is an album about the natural gesture of love and the softness of the human body,” says Sessa. “It’s also about my love for Brazilian music and its many shapes and colors. I like to think that it exists somewhere among the rituals that celebrate life. It’s a reminder that amongst all the pain, music comes to reaffirm the beauty in living.”
The album opens with instantaneous charm, as an unmistakable melody emerges through the shuffling acoustic guitar, tape hiss, and hand percussion of “Grandeza”. Sessa exudes the gospel-mystic Brazilian love vibe that cloaks the record in its nocturnal sheen, blending romantic and melancholic tones over a simple, exultant samba-reggae chant. Sessa sings “My greatness / My singable greatness / Unpostponable heart / May you dream the perilous dream / Unpostponable heart / In the horizon of madness, May you beat numerously”
Across Grandeza, Sessa’s songs are sung in Portuguese, with emotionally raw and sensual lyrics in the vain of Caetano Veloso, and the melodic flourishes of Tom Jobim and Arthur Verocai. However, the music gets a deliberate minimalist treatment rarely found in contemporary Brazilian music, more reminiscent of the bareness of Leonard Cohen, with touches of tropicália, and a collaboration with the free jazz ensemble Música de Selvagem that permeates the album with the cosmic elements of Pharoah Sanders and Moondog.
Written and recorded in multiple locations between São Paulo and New York during a nomadic period in Sessa’s life, the eleven songs in Grandeza portray different worlds of sound and poetry. The brilliance of the album is not only in its mastery of ambience, but in the fluidity of its vast musical horizon. From the psychedelic inflection of lead single “Flor do Real” through the gentle cacophony of album crescendo “Tanto,” Sessa creates a perfect balance of the album’s elements, articulating its melodic richness with the confluence of Música de Selvagem and Grandeza’s all-female choir, whose appearances fill the record with moments of remarkable beauty and experimental freedom.
Sessa—who was raised in a Sephardic Jewish family in São Paulo—notes that although his feelings about traditional religion have oscillated, spirituality is deeply embedded in his worldview, and in this album he connects sexuality, tactility, and music-making as their similar forms of spiritual transcendence.
Embarking on a solo career has offered the Brazil-born musician an opportunity to continue to deepen his work as “an apprentice of Brazilian music,” immersing himself and developing his notion of traditions in Brazilian poetry and lyricism, tapping into memories of the music he was surrounded by growing up and the music he has passionately listened to and played throughout his life. With Grandeza, Sessa creates a soft focus portrait of Brazilian music, all without abandoning his love for psychedelic, folk, and soul music—a sensibility that propels the devotional sounds of Grandeza towards decisively modern territory.
Sessa will perform the songs of Grandeza to North American audiences on tour in July. Full dates below.
GRANDEZA TRACK LISTING
Flor do Real
Toda Instância do Prazer
GRANDEZA ALBUM RELEASE TOUR DATES
July 5 - New Haven, CT - State House
July 6 - Northampton, MA - Historic Northampton
July 7 - Montreal, QC - Marché des possibles
July 7 - Quebec City, QC - OFF Festival
July 8 - Toronto, ON - Baby G w/ Tal National
July 9 - Detroit, MI - Trinosophes w/ Tal National
July 10 - Chicago, IL - Hungry Brain w/ The Eternals
July 11 - South Bend, IN - Langlab
July 12 - Milwaukee, WI - Ursa
July 13 - Rock Island, IL - Rozz Tox
July 14 - Indianapolis, IN - SSP
July 15 - Nashville, TN - Little Harpeth
July 16 - Asheville, NC - The Mothlight
July 17 - Knoxville, TN - Pilot Light
July 18 - Washington, DC - Eaton Hotel
July 24 - New York, NY - Brasil Summerfest @ National Sawdust