Already six years ago Raphael Gimenes released the beautiful album Raphael Gimenes & As Montanhas de Som. A Brazilian pearl that could just come from the rich sixties and seventies in Brazilian music history. The album effortlessly made the top 10 of our annual list of that year. And then it got very quiet. He only returned with the EP A Tongue Full of Suns, which was released last year. A six track EP that now finally gets a vinyl release.
What Gimenes, a musician of Brazilian family origin living in Denmark, did especially in the years after the release of his debut album was traveling. Especially a lot of South America but also a lot of Scandinavia. Surprisingly, the Faroe Islands, far above the northernmost tip of Scotland, were a perfect fit for recording new music.
Six songs that tell a story together: The Painter, The Wanderer, The Climber, The Dreamer, The Thief and The Eremite. Gimenes writes on the cover that these are the last songs of The Painter, the wizard whose heart was broken and who disappeared on a journey to get to know himself. He also learned to communicate with nature. Moreover, they are inspired by his trips to the Norwegian mountains of Jotunheimen and listening to seventies prog rock.
The atmosphere of the songs is again subdued and in arrangements dreamy and warm-blooded with Gimenes’s beautiful voice like the honey that makes the songs so breathtaking. Teitur puts a synth-driven layer over it without changing the emotional power of the songs in the least. Gimenes and Teitur received help from the German tabla player Jan Kadereit, from Matia Arriazu (the Argentine guitarist plays on the opening track The Painter) and from guitarist Tim Panman (the Dutch guitarist plays on The Dreamer).
Gimenes writes songs that float on atmosphere and emotions and Teitur’s interpretation fits in perfectly with that. Together they have achieved something wonderfully beautiful on A Tongue full of Suns. With Gimenes’ acoustic guitar and his voice as a basis, they have really managed to create something different than that overwhelming debut.
The six songs on the EP are all sung by Gimenes, this time in English, and are more pop in atmosphere, less influenced by Brazil, although Gimenes and his guitar always sound like that country (and how nice is that?).
Six beautiful songs, five of which are completely new; and we already knew The Climber from its debut as A Serra das Russas. This new version with the sounds of Teitur in a starring role sounds just as beautiful. The new songs show a Gimenes who just writes and plays stunning songs and now sees the warm Brazilian arrangements of his debut replaced by the glowing synths of Teitur.
It is of course worthless that Gimenes records and releases so little music because even now the talent is bursting from the songs again. And the collaboration with Teitur is definitely a very successful one, one that is worth repeating. Although I would love to see a sequel to the just acoustic work of Raphael Gimenes & As Montanhas de Som.