Dom La Nena: Tempo review – lighthearted enchantment

(Six Degrees)
Time flies as the Brazilian cellist-singer-songwriter flits between genres and languages with winning ease

Dom La Nena, the stage name of Brazilian cellist Dominique Pinto, means “Dom the Little Girl”, an allusion to Pinto’s time as a child prodigy. Born in Brazil, she spent her teenage years studying cello in Buenos Aires with the renowned Christine Walevska before a pop apprenticeship backing Jane Birkin. La Nena’s debut, 2013’s Ela, announced a distinctive talent, comfortable hopping between genres and languages (Portuguese, Spanish, French), understated but captivating, a one-off. Except, that is, when she’s alongside Moriarty’s Rosemary Standley as vocal duo Birds on a Wire, covering songwriters such as Leonard Cohen and Gilberto Gil.

Now 31, La Nena’s singing retains its youthful charm, alternately dreamy and lark-like. This third album takes on the weighty subject of time with winning lightheartedness (few of its songs exceed three minutes), skipping between styles: a jaunty waltz for Valsa, sighing chamber-samba for Samba Para Você. Todo Tiene Su Fin (All Things Must Pass) fears what time will do to her ravaged homeland, soaring against an almost doo-wop coda (“Before everyone is gone/ All I ask is love”). La Nena’s cello sings too, while she precisely orchestrates knocks, piano flourishes, bells and vocal parts. An enchantment.

Watch the video for Todo Tiene Su Fin by Dom La Nena


Neil Spencer

The GuardianTramp

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