Marina Allen ⟡ Jasmim

Galeria Zé do Bois

Marina Allen ©Eve Neuhart

Marina Allen

Marina Allen’s debut with “Candlepower” (2021) came at an uninviting time for musicians whose elevation coexists with a stage and an audience. We hear the lightness of Karen Carpenter’s voice with the aspiration of Karen Dalton, mixed in instrumentals that either highlight free jazz details or compositions that explore decades of sunshine in Californian music. One is tempted to hear Marina Allen as a Weyes Blood who didn’t take a few steps and jump right into “Titanic Rising”. The comparison seems stretched, but listening to her latest, Centrifics, released last summer, you’re lulled into the same desire to dream and tell stories that confront themselves.

Allen also hails from California, Los Angeles, and has a willingness to bathe in experimentation, to accept the challenges of the unknown and the ideas that can be born by accepting anything that seems feasible. Hence “Centrifics” has that quality of an album that never tires, where you hear Allen building bridges between different sounds while testing her voice in different habitats. Maybe it’s not a surprise for her, we, the listeners, feel it as a challenge that favors the imagination of thinking where she will be in a few years, if with two albums she already risks so much and creates songs that respect space, silence, time. And at times it is worth questioning how such a delicate album sounds so risky, bold in its willingness to show itself and show a singer/songwriter without fear of the place her voice occupies. AS


Anyone who remembers Martim in rock music, in the heart of the SpringToast family and over the keyboards of Mighty Sands, will certainly not be indifferent to the folk incursions under the alter-ego of Jasmim. She entered our lives in 2016 with the demo Primavera and, in 2019, surprised us with Culto da Brisa, a record of full contemplation and invariable ancestral arrangements. Acordado ou a Sonhar is an invitation to a beautiful journey commanded by bucolic keys or by green guitars of folk spirit packed by a serene voice – like sun on a summer afternoon -, always subject to the exquisite transverse flute or the harmonies of the violin accompanied by a band where Bia Diniz (bass and voices), Miguel Vilhena (guitar and synthesizers) and Humberto Dias (percussion and drums) stand out.

Acordado ou a Sonhar is full of songs that indicate the fine line between the intimacy of dreaming and literature and real life, but points the way to freedom in A Vida Não É Aqui. Tudo/Nada reveals itself dreamily in the lap of Walt Whitman: “blades of grass, drops of water”, it quotes Jasmim. Whether alone at the illuminated piano or accompanied by a magnificent band, Acordado ou a Sonhar should remain among us as one of the most beautiful works of 2021.

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