The 2019 music year is still a bit slow ramping up. Or maybe that’s just me. In any event, as new releases start to dribble out, I’m still vibing to music that I was listening to at the end of 2018. Calmô continues to be in heavy rotation from the In My Ear 2018 Playlist.I am way late to the Liniker e os Caramelows party and to this track as well, which was released as a single in early fall 2018. But, who cares man, because I am glad to be here now. Full credit to NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series for introducing me to this band; they played a fantastic Tiny Desk in late October 2018.
I don’t know enough about the group to do a just profile of them, but their story is a remarkable one: a richly diverse collective from Araraquara in the interior of São Paulo state fronted by talented and vibrant singer/songwriter Liniker Barros — a Black, trans singer and outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights hailing from a country in Brazil that has some of the highest rates of homophobia and LGBTQ+ violence.
Barros speaks about their lyrics and the band’s entire ethos as being all about love. And, so it is with this track because Calmô, is just….warm. A beautiful, aching, sultry slow song that feels like a late summer day, a soft breeze against your cheek, or a lover’s hot, whispered breath on your ear. I love, love, love 70’s vintage Brazilian soul and funk music and this track includes so many of those intoxicating elements: deeply soulful emotion, jazz and Caribbean and Afro-Brazilian influences, an unhurried tempo, and an irresistible sway.
Sighhhhhh, drink this song in.
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Feature Image by Leila Penteado