Sabrina Malheiros – New Morning
Following her best-selling debut album ‘Equilibria’, singer-songwriter Sabrina Malheiros returns with ‘New Morning’, an album of 21st century bossa – soul that mixes bossa, samba, disco and house together to create a sophisticated and sublime album.
‘New Morning’ is what Sabrina Malheiros describes as a ‘more organic’ follow up to the critically acclaimed ‘Equilibria’. Armed with a strong calibre of musicians, Sabrina Malheiros embarked on a rite of passage that resulted in an album that can only be described as a masterpiece. Sabrina Malheiros is a highly accomplished young musician who has a musical heritage that is deeply rooted in Brazilian musical history.
As the daughter of Alex Malheiros, the bassist from the legendary Azymuth; Sabrina is clearly under no illusion as to the influence this had in her musical journey. ‘With my father in Azymuth and my grandfather with Sergio Mendes, I have always been surrounded by the samba beat!
’New Morning' features an all-star Brazilian team including: Jose Roberto Bertrami, Ivan Conti, Zé Carlos, Idriss Boudrioua and Paulinho Braga as well as legendary Brazilian arranger and composer Arthur Verocai. The album was produced by Daniel Maunick (DJ Venom son of Bluey’s from Icognito band) who also produced Sabrina’s previous album, yet the production on this album shows Maunick’s evolution into a highly versatile and skilful producer. Sabrina admits ‘He’s very eclectic musically and I have to confess I have learnt a lot…even in relation to Brazilian music.
With ‘70s inspired sweeping samba-soul songs nestled in between boogie-tinged jazz, house rhythms and funky cinematic-bossa breaks and featuring the unmistakable vocals of Sabrina, ‘New Morning’ sees Rio’s original nu-bossa star recreate the honesty of her debut but with a new sense of maturity and sophistication. The album erupts with the bubbling bossa samba hybrid ‘Brisa Mar’ with lyrics co-written by her father Alex Malheiros which were inspired by the sea. This track alongside ‘Sintonia’ reflects the powerful partnership of Sabrina’s writing abilities combined with the grand string arrangements of the renowned Arthur Verocai resulting in songs that would sit comfortably in any classic film score. Sabrina recalls “Arthur Verocai arranged some of my songs…I discovered a like-minded spirit”. This connection between the two musicians from different generations sets a true precedent for the album.
The first single to be taken from this album is ‘Connexão’ which was also one of the first tracks to be written for this project. This offering of cool, sexy rhythmic house features the prominent afro-samba guitar playing of Ze Carlos evoking the swing of Jorge Ben. This song is a commentary on the living conditions in Rio: “The world has a romanticised view of Rio…but the violence, misery and poverty detract from all this beauty”. The up-tempo house beats juxtaposed with the energetic strings make a perfect song for the Balearic terraces as well as dancefloors around the world- a true summer anthem for 2008! Expect a plethora of remixes of ‘Connexão’ and various other cuts from the album in a range of different styles later this year.
‘Eira Nem Beira’ a catchy, afro-samba inspired track tinged with a subtle r’n’b influence that is expertly followed up by ‘Sem Pressa’ which has lyrics written by Arthur Verocai, a big band style track fuelled by an incredible brass section made up of Vittor Santos and Jessé Sadoc. ‘Além Do Sol’ and ‘Essa Canção’ offer sweeping, majestic acoustic ballads that beautifully display Sabrina’s soul and amazing vocal range.
Sabrina effortlessly slips into English with the tracks New Morning and the spectacular cover ‘It’s Too Late’. ‘New Morning’ is a track that symbolises the London- Rio fusion between Daniel (producer) and Sabrina, where they combine samba taken from the traditional Partido Alto style with a futuristic edge. This song defines how well the partnership between the duo works in unison to make an innovative sound and also acts as a nod to the electronic touches of her previous album ‘Equilibria’. ‘It’s Too Late’ is a great bossa nova rendition of the Carol King classic which will act as a competent commercial track ideal for attracting new audiences to Sabrina’s talent.
‘New Morning’ as the name suggests acts as fresh beginning for Sabrina – the classic Brazilian songwriting combined with the contemporary production alongside the epic arrangements- sees the Far Out’s little girl with a big voice, blossom with a little help from Joe Davis’s vision, into a highly credible female solo artist. This is a body of work that established fans of Far Out and beyond should find mind blowing!
‘New Morning takes you on a clubby bossa nova workout in and beyond the streets of Rio.Sabrina Malheiros is undoubtedly Brazil’s next huge crossover star for international music lovers! DJ Ritu, A World In London, BBC London 94.9
“Mature and beautifully sung it’s refreshing to see a Brazilian female singer composing rather than interpreting. ‘New Morning’ is quality MPB tinged with nostalgia for a bygone age.” Songlines
“Nu-bossa chanteuse Sabrina Malheiros is one of the best modern exponents of bossa nova. There is a lot to love in Malheiros’s smooth grooves.” Metro
"’New Morning’ mixes retro jazz-soul with retooled bossa grooves. The arrangements for strings, brass and woodwind are the real delight, adding rare distinction.” The Independent On Sunday
“Malheiros’ ‘New Morning’ has been widely deemed the best album of the summer.”
The Evening Standard ****