Luedji Luna: Um Corpo No Mundo review – sultry debut with a message

(Sterns)

This twentysomething Brazilian broke big in 2016 with the title track of this debut, launched through YouTube with an arthouse video that revealed a singer with a model’s looks, a dancer’s grace and a sharply honed political sensibility. Um Corpo No Mundo (A Body in the World) is a call for racial and gender respect, delivered with sultry insouciance to an airy samba melody and a simple backing of guitar, bass and percussion.

The album, much garlanded in Brazil, follows suit, celebrating an Afro-Brazilian heritage felt keenly via Luna’s politically active parents (who gave her her African first name) and her northern hometown of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil’s most “African” region. That legacy is most apparent on Banho de Folhas (Bathed in Leaves), with its soukous guitar, and in the conga-led Bahian rhythms elsewhere.

Luna’s breezy vocals are well matched by the light touch of Swedish producer Sebastian Notini, who is nevertheless unafraid to add freeform sax to Iodo + Now Frágil, a broadside from a woman who believes “there is nothing in the world today more revolutionary than the black women’s movement”. Yet Luna mixes her politics with romance, nature and a nod to the gods. An engaging newcomer.

Watch the video for Luedji Luna’s Banho de Folhas.

Contributor

Neil Spencer

The GuardianTramp

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