Sonntag, 17. Juli 2022

Gal Costa - India (1973)

Brazilian samba singer Maria da Graça Costa Penna Burgos’ career began in 1965 and took off as the decade went on. While she released her first single as Maria Da Graça, she soon shortened her name further to Gal Costa, and found herself working with a vibrant new generation of singer-songwriters in her country, like Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, and his sister Maria Bethânia. She recorded an album of breezy bossa nova duets with Veloso in 1967, which served as both of their debut albums.

Soon after, Costa became a part of the revolutionary musical movement known as Tropicália. And by 1969, Gal was one of the most potent and popular voices in that group, scoring nationwide hits like “Divino, Maravilhoso” and “Não Identificado” while also pushing her sound to the extremes of psychedelic rock. (See the second album she released that year, Gal, for a dose of some of the era’s wildest sound.) As Caetano Veloso put it in his memoir Tropical Truth, Costa’s voice transformed from soft and dulcet to “incorporating vocal sounds that included both Janis Joplin’s grunts and the cries of James Brown.”

But by the early years of the 1970s, Tropicália as a movement was extinguished, as Costa’s key collaborators Gil and Veloso were first imprisoned and then exiled to England until 1972. Despite that, Costa’s star was ascendant—so much so that, across from her Rio home, a stretch of beach where the hippies hung out to smoke weed was deemed “Gal’s dune.” Costa’s 1973 album "Índia" cemented her status as one of Brazil’s biggest and most defiant stars, from its government-banned cover image to its closing cover of the standard “Desafinado.” With it, Costa paid tribute to her country’s musical heritage while also bravely forging ahead in the post-tropicalismo era, one increasingly repressed by the military regime running the country.

With "Índia", Gal Costa completely abandoned the absurd, screaming guitars and wild drumming for some of the lushest, most sophisticated, and most complex arrangements of her career. Her voice is clear and inviting as always, sitting perfectly with the strings, accordions, horns, reeds, and percussion that swirl around, effortlessly punctuating the romance in every track. 

With Gilberto Gil alongside on acoustic guitar and musical director, the arrangements definitely glow with his polyphonic personality, but these songs have a feel all their own - sounding as if they blossomed out of necessity and the sharp edge of elegance. 

"Índia" seems as if it were conceived with ideas walled off to past influences and future aspirations, holding a timeless quality, leaving one to wonder if Costa and Gil were at all aware of what they were producing while it was happening or if they were completely swept up in the magic of the moment. 

Even though the hugely influential Tropicalia movement was over by the time of this release, "Índia" unquestionably shows that Costa's inventiveness was still unfolding and impulsive and should be considered by the wave of Tropicalia collectors as a worthy addition to the assortment of recordings in that it shows how a major player in that movement transferred her ambitions to a completely different direction without forsaking her class or drive.


A1 Índia 6:51
A2 Milho Verde 4:20
A3 Presente Cotidiano 2:54
A4 Volta 3:17
B1 Relance 4:52
B2 Da Maior Importância 5:12
B3 Passarinho 2:23
B4 Pontos De Luz 2:40
B5 Desafinado 2:36

Gal Costa - India
(320 kbps, cover art included)

0 Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen