OP AT THE LO
Our new single was a cheeky experiment with improvisation during times of social isolation, recorded at our home studios.
Usually, when we play live, our harmonist Paula Camacho follows the improvising melodies, but this time we inverted things a little: she composed this beautiful harmony and the melodies were created by Felipe "Tupã" Monteiro (mandolin) and Leonardo Ramos (Irish flute / whistle) following that base – not usual at all for Irish music. On top of that, we asked our good friend Ivan Cavalheiro to add some weight with his bodhrán.
"Op At The Lo" is based on our set "Jump At The Morrison", which is present in each of our albums so far – yet every time iterated in a unique new way thanks to the long improvisations that permeate it. This time we stripped the set of the tunes and stuck with just the improv. The track has no beginning and no end: in fact, it can be easily looped – or it can be compared to a river that just flows forward, and to watch it go is to stay with that "flow" of the moment.
The single was mixed and mastered by our mandolinist Felipe Tupã, and the artwork was made by our flutist/photographer Leonardo Ramos.
Although one of our very earliest sets, SK7 has skillfully managed to dodge all of our album recordings, both released and upcoming. Until now.
A classic combination of Irish tunes, iterated slightly beyond the fringes of traditional music - introduced by a skandalized version of Boys Of Malin, dropped into full blown reel, only to be rapidly converted to the lesser known Gus Jordan's - which is split in turns in a vestigial remembrance of a time when the band was composed by three flutists and creativity had become an imperative resource for the effective pulling off of such unusual an endeavour - and finally concluded with all-time favourite Gravel Walks, nonetheless seasoned by mr. Thomas' mouth harp in it's very first appearance.
And now, for the first time on recorded media, mixed by none other than our mandolinist Felipe "Tupã" Monteiro, we give you our famous cheer-bringing, eyebrow-raising, nostalgia-eliciting, SK7 - recently premiered at the 2021 Féile made possible by Comhaltas Brasil.
The artwork was designed by our flutist/photographer Leonardo Ramos.
2019 - recorded
2021 - released
A getaway from the city, one microphone, hours of free improvisation.
This is a digital-double-long-play recorded in the old-school tradition of early psychedelic music, which we drew from some of our most inspirational bands: the likes of mr. Syd Barret and the Floyds.
This is an experiment and a statement to what stressful lives can do to our inner freedom, our mental health and our creativity. Before we recorded all of our previously released albums, on the very early days of 2019, we took off from our home city of São Paulo (the most densely populated metropolis of both southern and western hemispheres) for a short retreat at the beach. No work, no stress, no internet, no social media, just the nature and the Breeze. There we played what little Irish tunes we knew, along with hours of free improvisations.
Since then, we went professional, we perfected a little more our stage performances, our identity, our improvisation skills and musical techniques... but some of our most inspired moments are still contained within this selection of early experiments.
What this album taught us is that peace of mind and mental health are of the utmost vitality for EVERYONE - and creativity, once thought to be a skill reserved only to self-proclaimed professional artists, is actually the fantastic byproduct of being a master of one's own consciousness.
2019 and 2020 (The Year Of The Covid) were our taking-off years, full of creative spurts and growths... but they also brought us face to face with the curse of anxiety and depression, stress and falling outs - issues that time and again have been responsible for the splitting and ultimate demise of so many bands we admire. We learned that lesson from our ancestors, and we set out to not let ourselves down the same sad road. We dove deep into studies of creativity and mental health, we paved a road for creative healing... and we bid farewell to our beloved nation of Brazil.
As we move on to a new journey of new discoveries, learnings and experiences, we take one last look back at our cradle, the one that set us apart from all the other amazing Irish music bands out there.
We follow the breeze.
This album was entirely recorded with a single stereo microphone.
It was mixed and mastered by Tunisian musician and sound designer Mustapha Denguezly, who also shares the psychedelic rock band Avdey with our flutist Leo.
The cover art was painted by our former bodhráni, Amanda Pinheiro, who since departed the band to follow her own breeze.
THE LAST CORVO
It was early 2019 when we took the last subway home from one of our nostalgic Irish Sessions at Deep Bar 611. The craic was mighty that night, and 5 hours of music weren't enough to satisfy us. So we took out our instruments to keep on playing in the nearly empty train. Why, in the midst of our shenanigans, up came a man to hand us a wee card with the name of a new business in town: a pub called O Corvo (The Raven), located in the heart of alternative nightlife of Brazil's cultural capital – the city of São Paulo.
Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem, the place was seeking new bands who played original sounds to pair up with the best hamburgers ever fried in a São-Pauloan grill. This late-night subway networking took us to our famous weekly shows on Wednesdays, and then on Fridays, at O Corvo.
The place became our home, our Whisky A Go Go, our The Cavern, where we grew and showed our work to family, friends old and new, to the alternative youth of São Paulo, where we had the chance to share a stage with amazing music-mates – and eat some fantastic burgers. The Corvo's success was undeniable, judging by it's rapidly growing public, the cozy environment, the perfect location and, naturally, the original bands! By late 2019, the owners already spoke of expanding the business, filling us all with great excitement!
Sadly, though, the Corvo did not survive the 2020 Pandemics and was forced to shut its doors earlier this year.
In memory of our departed home, today we release this EP with a handful of recordings from our last-ever show there. We have selected some interesting improvisations, some rather familiar sets to our followers, and a couple of invaluable cameos from our friends Nataly Macias and Adriano Martorelli, who so kindly joined us in the Last Corvo – not knowing it would be, indeed, the last.
The Corvo is dead – long live the Corvo!
The cover art was made by our flutist Leo, based on a photo by Thadeu Farias, taken in the Corvo.