Uniquely blending traditional Madeiran poetry and song with conceptual artistic design, Portuguese musician and artist Cristina Veira – Hummana – presents the vastly atmospheric new album Tribo, and promises a world of audio escapism unlike any other.
From the increasing depth of a finely-crafted, melodic and hypnotic BAILINHO, the album’s post-six-minute opener naturally lures its audience in with exotic, dreamy vocals, dramatic rhythms, and unrelenting layers of ambient strings, synths and additional voices, for a sound that’s all at once organic and other-worldly.
Progressively energising, the music grows from strength to strength to strength. What begins as soothing, rises through to intensely uplifting, near-euphoric even. The pop-rock peak of the opener is a fine example of the craftsmanship at the heart of each composition, and despite its conceptual origins, the music emotively connects and aptly prompts the mind to wander.
“The foundation of this project is based essentially on the urgency of the rediscovery, preservation, continuity & dissemination of traditional music manifestation with popular roots.”
As things continue, world-music flavours and folk tendencies rain down amidst a notably theatrical performative aspect of varying vocal styles and production effects. Versatility is key, not just within each piece, but across the whole collection.
Consider the sudden delicacy of a keys-led and melodically peaceful CARGA, still building up throughout and increasingly passionate, and subsequently the distance and further softness of O CANTO DA ERCA – right through to a stunningly bold and beautiful crescendo.
Stand-out moments include the brilliantly haunting and addictive presence of MÃE DO MONTE (Mother of The Hill), complete with its supreme use of juxtaposition between lightness and weight; distortion and delicacy, calmness and chaos. A personal favourite.
Others are the profoundly scene-setting, unsettling and intricate MEU MAR, the sudden brightness and bounce of a contrastingly darker-themed CEIFEIRA (Reaper), and the awesomely awakening and soulfully moving MEIO BAILE (Half Dance).
Thoughtfully historical in its devotion to ancestral influences, yet also incredibly engaging, captivating and powerful, Tribo proves a breathtaking collection of unrivaled musical expressions. Whilst there are highlights to mention, the entire album in full is where the true inspiration and experience resides.
Musicianship, composition and performance that’s second to none. A defiant must for music fans looking for something intensely purposeful, unique, and endlessly rewarding.