CC + Rushmor Records Present: Os Mutantes (Brazil) • Esmé Patterson
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Limited pre-sale is now live // full on-sale this friday
Limited pre-sale is now live // full on-sale this friday
Os Mutantes (“The Mutants”) are an influential Brazilian psychedelic rock band that were linked
with the Tropicália movement of the late 1960s. When Os Mutantes was formed, it combined
influences from psychedelic acts from the English-speaking world like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix,
and Sly & the Family Stone with bossa nova, tropicália, samba and the cultural legacy of the Brazilian art vanguards from the modernist movement.
One of the most well-known and influential rock bands in Brazil, Os Mutantes are cited as a major
influence to many contemporary underground or independent bands in the United States and
Europe. Beck paid tribute to the group with his single “Tropicália” from the album Mutations. The
Bees (UK band) covered “A Minha Menina” on their first album, Sunshine Hit Me. Red Hot Chili
Peppers bass player Flea has stated on his Twitter account that he is a fan. Kevin Barnes of Of
Montreal cites Os Mutantes as an important influence. Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has
worked to publish and promote the group’s music through his Luaka Bop label.
Kurt Cobain publicly requested a reunion tour from the trio in 1993, writing a letter to Arnaldo Baptista, but the band’s first live performance since 1978 was at London’s Barbican Arts Centre on May 22, 2006 – (though without Rita Lee, who was replaced with Zélia Duncan on vocals). This performance was followed by shows in New York City, Los Angeles (with the Flaming Lips), San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, and Miami.
However in September 2007, both Arnaldo Baptista and Zélia Duncan left the band, each expressing wishes to continue with their respective solo projects.
Sérgio Dias, however, vowed to keep the reformed band alive, not wanting to let “the giant sleep
again”, as he put it. And so, led by Dias with Esmeria Bulgari on vocals, Henrique Peters on
keyboards, Vinicius Junqueira on bass and Claudio Tchernev on drums the band toured
extensively enjoying some great highlights such as “A Minha Menina” featuring as the audio track
for the McDonald’s commercial “Victory” in June 2008, their first new release in 35 years, “Haih Or
Amortecedor” (ANTI- Records) in September 2009. Extensive tours in support of the album
including Glastonbury Festival in June 2010. In 2011, they collaborated with Of Montreal on the
song “Bat Macumba” for the Red Hot Organization’s most recent charitable album “Red Hot+Rio
2.” and in 2013 the release of their album “Fool Metal Jack”. In 2017, Sergio Dias collaborated with
the English singer-songwriter, Carly Bryant and subsequently she was put into the band’s line up
on vocals, guitars and keyboards. Tres Olhos Music Festival quoted after her debut performance
“”Packed with the new vocals, Carly Bryant took the audience to ecstasy, showing she’s here to
stay.” The six piece release the single ‘Black and Grey’ in late 2017 and are currently working on a new studio album.
“A head-turning comeback” BBC music
“There was nothing quite like Os Mutantes, and there still isn’t” The Guardian
“Kaleidoscopic, politically-charged rock” Billboard
Ray Bradbury’s 1950 sci-fi short story collection The Martian Chronicles takes place between 1999 and 2057. Life on earth is crumbling post-nuclear war. The robots are thriving, carrying out the duties set before them, while the humans are forced to flee to Mars. Esme Patterson’s fourth studio album, There Will Come Soft Rains, is named after the Sara Teasdale poem of the same name which inspired the Bradbury collection’s penultimate tale.
There Will Come Soft Rains revolves around the constant cycle of creation and destruction. A process that Patterson felt reflected the sonic direction she started moving in on 2016’s We Were Wild, and which she delves deeper into on her newest effort, and first for BMG. “It’s about how life continues on this planet after humans inevitably wipe ourselves out,” the Denver-based artist says. “The songs echo the surrender of starting over and failing and starting over again many times. I was hoping to convey the bittersweet peace of letting go alongside the courage to start again, being swallowed by fear and pain and coming out the other side stronger.”
The album follows the Grand Jury Music release of 2016’s critically acclaimed We Were Wild and marks her new partnership with BMG. Patterson got her start in the mid-aughts with her band Paper Bird and went on to release her first solo album, All Princes, I, in 2012. She began touring with Shakey Graves in 2014, in between albums and her own tours, and co-wrote three songs for his 2014 album, And The War Came, while also releasing her “defiant and witty” (The Guardian) second solo album Woman To Woman in 2015. Patterson has frequently collaborated with the likes of Craig Finn, William Elliot Whitmore, William Ryan Fitch and many more.
Patterson’s music is constantly evolving but that has never been as obvious and crucial as it is on There Will Come Soft Rains. Jangly guitars and glowing synths build on the direction of We Were Wild and mark a stark transition from the folkier sound of her previous works. Raw vocals lay bare against fellow Denver duo Tennis’ shiny production and surfy dream pop. For the album Patterson and Tennis holed up in the band’s garage for 12 days in 2018 in the scorching hot Denver summer to record the album, but she has been conceptualizing it since 2015. “I feel like I’ve been continually rising from the ashes,” she says. “Being born and dying again.”
Over ten songs, Patterson yearns for true love, bemoans sexual frustration and capitalism, questions the afterlife, and ponders suicidal ideation. The album opens with the ectastic “Shelby Tell Me Everything” a “sweet and innocent gay love song”. She wrote “Out The Door,” a deceptively upbeat meditation on what happens to our souls when we die, while living with her dying grandmother. The dusty and delicate guitar-led “Momentito” is about living in the present, surrendering to what we can and can’t control.
The darkest moment and brightest light come in the middle of the tracklist. The twinkly piano number “All Mine” takes us back to when Patterson lived in a motel room by the highway. “I was dealing with constant suicidal thoughts for several months, and through writing, writing this song specifically, I found an anchor,” she says. “I knew at the center of my being…that I was enough, that I was ok, that I could take suicide off the table permanently, and never go back, that I was fine being all mine and loneliness too shall pass, it comes and goes, and there is beauty to be found in all of it.”
Throughout her new album Esme Patterson weaves in and out of overtly personal stories of love and loss, but true to the namesake of There Will Come Soft Rains, and in the tradition of classic sci-fi, she looks towards the future with tenacity and a passionate resolve to see what comes next. Always with an eye on the optimistic, the end of pain and struggle, Esme’s songs are imbued with acceptance and hope. Patterson knows, and wants us all to remember, that these cycles are natural, our highs compliment our lows but the beauty of life is finding balance between the two. Patterson’s There Will Come Soft Rains is out March 6th on BMG.