Light a Candle, the second release of New York City-based Forro In The Dark, will be released September 29, 2009. Forro In The Dark makes music that, despite incorporating elements of country and western, dub, surf rock, and Brazilian Popular Music, stays true to the original idea behind forró: that is, the dancing. The thirteen songs on Light A Candle, a name borrowed from a Neil Young song, were also formed in this same kind of environment, composed and developed during the band’s weekly Wednesday-night residency at the New York City club Nublu.
Some of them, like the instrumental covers “Saudades de Manezinho Araujo” and “Forro de Dois Amigos,” have been popular elements of their live show for years, but the dynamic between the players and their fantastic stage presence is also conveyed in the studio: all of the songs on Light A Candle recorded live at Fluxstudios, with only the occasional stringed or percussive instruments overdubbed later.
These are songs that can barely contain the energy inside of them. Even the simpler ones, like “Bandinha” – a five-lined piece about an annual party held every year in Brazil for São João (or St. John) that features Jorge Continentino’s rollicking pifano (a kind of wooden flute) – or the fast, percussion-heavy “Caipirinha”, feel as full and lively as the wonderful “Baiao Embolado,” which balances Guilherme Monteiro’s syncopated electric guitar riff with harmony vocals from Jorge and percussionist Davi Vieira, or “Perro Loco,” which trades the pifano for a baritone sax, Portuguese for Spanish, and travels into the surf-rock territory without losing its footing in traditional Brazilian rhythms.
Forro In The Dark don’t see themselves as traditionalists, though, and that’s why this all works. Instead, they’re part of the growing collection of musicians from around the world who mix the experimental and sometimes-obscure with mainstream sounds to create music that anyone, regardless or creed or nationality, can enjoy.
In making Light a Candle, the quartet employed the help of producer FAB and bassist Alberto Continentino, as well as singer-songwriter and New York fixture Jesse Harris (of Norah Jones fame) on the song “Just Like Any Other Night,” and Brazilian Girls frontwoman Sabina Sciubba, who adds her sultry, tongue-in-cheek vocals to the Astor Piazzolla-meets-Ennio Morricone “Silence Is Golden.” The album will be released on Nat Geo Music on September 29, 2009.