• Loyro Cunha
  • Lucas Santtana

Regular readers of this space might have noticed my longtime affinity for the music of Brazilian singer, songwriter, and producer Lucas Santtana, one of the most restless and creative contemporary figures from his homeland. I’ve been wanting to write something about his latest album Sobre Noites e Dias (No Format!) since it was released last year, but I held off in hopes that it might get released in the U.S., or at least in the UK. That doesn’t seem likely to happen at this point, so if you’re taken in by his work you’ll either have to pony up for the French release or settle for a download.

After years of making records guided by a particular aesthetic concept—such as the way he used only sounds produced with a guitar on his great 2009 album Sem Nostalgia or experimented with dub on his 2006 album 3 Sessions in a Greenhouse—ever since his previous album from 2013, The God Who Devastates Also Cures (Mais Um Discos), he seems to have decided to follow his pop muse without relying on an overriding theme. But the constant that does remain is the quality of his work, and how it seems to take up residence in my head. One song that’s stuck in my memory is “Mariazinha Morena Clara,” today’s 12 O’Clock Track. It opens up like it will imminently kick into a high-octane Afrobeat jam, but the seductive horns played by Thiago França change the tone, giving the song the feel of an old-school Carnaval samba from Rio.