- Marcelo Camelo
- Mallu Magalhães
Earlier this fall the Brazilian pop star Mallu Magalhães made her quiet entry into the U.S. marketplace with Highly Sensitive (Sony Music Brazil), a lovely collection drawn from the three studio albums the singer has released in her homeland between 2008, when she was just 16, and 2011. Here in the States the media would probably call the singer precocious, but the fact is that she’s ridiculously talented and has apparently known exactly what she wanted to do with her music from a young age. The music on her third album, Pitanga, is the best work she’s done—although I’m pretty fond of all of her records—which suggests she’s not a teen star about to flame out. From the beginning she wrote most of her songs in English, and after posting tracks on her Myspace page she became a sensation and was eventually signed by Sony Music in Brazil. She’s worked with top-flight musicians and producers from the start, enlisting, respectively, Mario Caldato Jr., Kassin, and Marcelo Camelo, the former singer of Los Hermanos (who’s also her boyfriend). Aside from an occasional bossa nova flourish, there’s not a whole lot of native Brazilian sounds in her work, just an easygoing airiness that’s only been heightened by her growing talent as a vocalist—at times on some of her earliest stuff she overemotes, equating ornamentation and extroversion with passion. The songs from Pitanga, including today’s breezy 12 O’Clock Track, “Velha e Louca,” sound much more relaxed, natural, and appealing. Mallu is embarking on a handful of U.S. dates beginning in New York on October 28. Alas, she won’t be coming to Chicago on this visit. The video for “Velha e Louca” was shot in the singer’s hometown of São Paulo, but from her hairstyles, fashion, and dance moves, it’s clear that she’s channeling the spirit of 60s Paris—it suits her and the song.