The center of the Lusophone world—when you average out Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, and smaller pockets like São Tomé and Príncipe—might be somewhere near Cape Verde, which may explain why the island nation’s music is so utterly rich. Brazilian, Cuban, British and Portuguese sailors passed through the islands’ ports, sowing the seeds for the music that blooms there today. For a breezy introduction to Cape Verde’s musical mélange, you could do worse than this new album by Lucibela.
Released earlier this month on Lusafrica, Laço Umbilical finds the singer not only adding to the Cape Verdean songbook but interpreting it as well, through songs by Manuel de Novas, Jorge Humberto, and of course Cesaria Evora, the star of morna music who died in 2011. Laço Umbilical is mellow and melodious, and encompasses a lot of what we love about Cape Verdean music. We’ve got a review forthcoming, but for now, enjoy these videos.