Elza Soares

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Elza Soares is known as the queen of avant-garde samba.


In a career racked by tragedy, legendary Brazilian samba singer Elza Soares has persevered as a singular voice for the voiceless. Her latest album, A mulher do Fim do Mundo (The Woman at the End of the World), was a continuation of her lifelong work on behalf of the oppressed, meant “to talk about women, to talk about blackness, and to talk about sex.”


Over a sprawl of distorted guitars, squalling horns, taught strings and electronic shards, Elza sings, spits and screams tales of a life in Brazil that is anything but a tropical paradise. For “A Mulher do Fim do Mundo”, Elza has teamed up with the cream of São Paulo's avant-garde musicians, as Marcelo Cabral and Kiko Dinucci (Metá Metá) and the musical director Guilherme Kastrup, for an album of apocalyptic, experimental samba sujo (‘dirty samba’) where samba is savaged by rock‘n’roll, free-jazz, noise and other experimental music forms.

In April 2018 she released its follow-up, Deus É Mulher (God Is a Woman in Portuguese) by DeckDisc. Deus É Mulher is combative, political, militant, punk, and a return of the dirty samba of the musicians responsible for The Woman of the End of the World, however, in this new work, everything sounds more exuberant and richer, in a way even more intense and impassioned. This album also counts with the participation of the Brazilian artist Tulipa Ruiz, with the percussive survey of the Afro block from São Paulo Ilú Obá De Min, with the percussionist Mariá Portugal and the clarinetist Maria Beraldo, among others.

In April 2018 she released its follow-up, Deus É Mulher (God Is a Woman in Portuguese) by DeckDisc. Deus É Mulher is combative, political, militant, punk, and a return of the dirty samba of the musicians responsible for The Woman of the End of the World, however, in this new work, everything sounds more exuberant and richer, in a way even more intense and impassioned. This album also counts with the participation of the Brazilian artist Tulipa Ruiz, with the percussive survey of the Afro block from São Paulo Ilú Obá De Min, with the percussionist Mariá Portugal and the clarinetist Maria Beraldo, among others.

Deus é Mulher was already considered by The New York Times as one of the ten best albums of the year (2018).

 

“Deus é Mulher” Awards and nominations:
Prêmio Multishow (Brasilian Pop music Awards) - Best recording album and best producer (Guilherme Kastrup) 
Nominated for WME Awards by Music;
Nominated for Latin Grammy for best MPB


"A Mulher do fim do Mundo" Awards:
"Best Album of 2015" by Rolling Stone Brazil;
Latin GRAMMY for Best MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) Album, 2016

 

The Guardian   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Songlines   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Financial Times   ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Mojo Magazine   ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
 
 
PRESS

"Samba icon and Brazilian national hero Elza Soares offers a searing, surging fusion that combines Afro-Brazilian styles with wiry, dissonant strands of punk and noise-rock."

Philip Sherburne in Pitchfork

“The groaning guitar lines and stampede of drums are as battering as a sudden downpour; the cold, stinging pricks of synthesizer are hair-raising. Holding court in the middle of this storm is Soares, somehow elegant and violent in the same breath: Her delivery is smooth and controlled, but her tone simmers with forceful rage. The fact that Soares has been active since the 1960s is already amazing, but even more so is how she continues to stay one step ahead, evolving with each new song.”

Kevin Lozano in Pitchfork (about “Deus é Mulher”)
 
"Surely the Brazilian album of the year."

Robin Denselow in The Guardian (about “A Mulher do Fim do Mundo”)
 
"A vital, beautiful album"

in The Wire (about “A Mulher do Fim do Mundo”)

"A monumentally great album."

Howard Male in The Arts Desk