Grimório de Abril - Castelo d'​Á​gua

Released: March 14

Castelo d'​Á​gua is a rather unique album in terms of how loosely it plays with it own concept of genre. At times, it can feel like a colorful and intoxicating slurry of degraded sounds with vocal performances that seem to borrow from conventional pop but sound pained and airy in a manner that defies simple explanation. Everything from the drums to the melodies to the strange little extras that filter through the rest of the compositions feels wonderfully decayed, like we are hearing the ghosts of a lounge act in the remnants of an old sit-down speakeasy kind of place. I'm sure I'm not quite doing the sound justice here, but this entire album has a very particular air about it that makes for a rather unique experience. 

Starting out at the first track, we get introduced with a solitary finger picked guitar that gives us the thing to hold to as the other elements come in to view. The second those airy and ethereal vocals hit, the song begins to morph ever so slightly with additional elements joining in. Then, about halfway through, the tone changes so dramatically that I mistakenly thought the track had changed. Even with the dramatic change, the same wispy and sweetly sad tone was still there. These odd abstractions and shifts continue on throughout the album, with a personal favorite of mine being "The River Used to be a Signal." For me, it is the synths that open it up and stay with the theme for much of its runtime - these old little retro-sounding pings that play out a somewhat awkward but easily grasped melody. It only gets better as the bizarre vocals come to join in with their airy and slightly psychedelic quality.  The varied compositions throughout make for an intriguing listen, and it is even more enrapturing with the persistently emotive and sublime vocal performances.


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