Chalo Correia, an Angolan composer and songwriter who now lives in Lisbon, has released a preview of his new album, Akuá Musseque, into the world. True to his form, the three songs sound like a fresh take on the golden era of Angolan guitar pop by the likes of Os Kiezos and David Zé. We're all positively champing at the bit to hear the whole thing.
Correia talked to Afropop's Sam Backer in Lisbon in 2015, just after his previous album Kudihohola came out. That album had limited digital release, but still managed to be nominated for two Angolan Music Awards in 2016 and, as someone who picked a physical copy up in Lisbon this April, take my word for it: it slays. And then when I saw him play live a few days later, I realized the record barely conveyed how great this music is. It can be somehow both mournful and danceable at once. Just look at how people respond to it:
The new record features more of Chalo's guitar and trademark harmonica, and more of João Mouro's graceful electric guitar work, and also the inclusion of some new, but old, instruments: in the preview video you can spot at least a berimbau and a cuica. The instruments are typically associated with Afro-Brazilian music, but the samba didn't fall far from the semba, the name for the Angolan genre Chalo plays.
Press inquiries have been made back to Lisbon to try to hear the whole record, which got a soft European launch last month. Keep your eyes open for a review of Akuá Musseque, just as soon as we can get a copy.