Sparks of inspiration often come from the least expected places. You could be walking down the street and you’re hit with a great idea. Or, if you’re like me, just as you’re about to fall asleep at night you’re struck with a stroke of brilliance you swear you’ll remember in the morning…but never do.
The inspiration for São Paulo-based Céu’s fifth album, at least in title, comes from an exclamation made by her youngest child.
APKÁ! (June 26 in North America & Europe via Six Degrees Records) is a sonically defined embodiment of the implied satisfaction which garners an almost child-like carefree surrender to the sounds of Céu.
By letting ourselves go and absorbing the latest from Céu, you’ll find the eleven-track record begins in “Off”, an echoing paced gentle introduction into the release. Should you be inclined to judge APKÁ! by the first track you will be greatly misled. It is only after this track that APKÁ! really starts to take shape; and it does so quickly. Does this imply the first song is somehow misplaced? Not at all. It only helps form the frame of Céu mesmerizing vocals paired brilliantly with the captivating full-bodied style.
Sliding in and out of the empty spaces, Céu has built a quirky experimental pop where she, with the aid of Hervé Salters, Lucas Martins, Pedro Sá, and Pupillo, harnesses an alluring complexion of jazzy influence, bossa nova rhythmic tendencies, and airy minimalism. As I sit in smokey vibes of “Pardo” or the 70s undertones of “Rotação”, suddenly it dawned on me, the smooth vocals, the experimental undertones, I am unequivocally listening to the Brazilian Little Dragon (circa 2007) and loving absolutely every moment of it.
The exclamation that is the title to APKÁ! is merely a title, sure. However, rooted in the proclamation of a one year old is an intended expression of complete satisfaction. Aptly so, APKÁ! is eleven tracks of complete satisfaction from obviously seasoned artists. That kid is on to something. You should be on to APKÁ! too.