Brazilian psych soul wunderkind, producer and singer Tagua Tagua has joined the Wonderwheel Recordings family with a tender selection of cuts on his second album Tanto.
Recorded in the rural outskirts of Sao Paulo there is a sense of yearning that permeates throughout the set list of ten unapologetic love songs that fly between lush psychedelic pop to warm, beat-laden neo-soul with Brazilian flavor. The album maneuvers subtly between the different dynamics, and purposefully so, as it was ‘a vibe’ that Tagua Tagua AKA Felipe Puperi wanted to instill from start to finish – channeling soul heroes past and present like Bill Withers, Shuggie Otis & Sault.
The album title and first single Tanto translates to Portuguese as ‘so much’, and Felipe sees the track and entirety of the album as “a feeling of falling in love for the sake of falling in love”. The track is a slice of horizontal soul music and possesses a sweet, almost drug-induced fervor, simple on arrangements. Felipe sings in a melismatic tenor, at times tipping into falsetto, with subtle effects enriching his delivery.
Based in the city of São Paulo, Felipe previously fronted the group Wannabe Jalva and has an extensive musical resumé, having played at Lollapalooza Brazil, supported shows for Pearl Jam and Jack White, and created a name for himself as one of the most promising breakout acts in Brazil. Yet there was a break-out moment of self discovery, a re-connection with his language that led to a personal and musical revolution culminating in his debut solo album in 2020, Inteiro Metade.
Whereas his previous long-player had changing musical personalities from tropical psychedelic to funk and soul, Tanto only flirts outside of the mellow psychedelic soul prism and whilst there are ebbs and flows, it delights in its sparse and sweet minimalism. “Pra Trás” opens proceedings, and aptly, as Tagua Tagua moves from one album to the next, it’s about leaving things behind. There are strings and orchestrations, a killer guitar hook and Tagua Tagua’s seductive delivery. “Colors” is full-throttle future-soul, squelchy synths pulsed by a lazy, yet insistent shuffler of a beat. Further dreamlike timbres are found in “Barcelona”, a journey of a song and Brisa, perhaps the body-mover of the collection, with silky synths and a chorus you’re sure to repeat.
All songs were written and recorded by Felipe himself, mixed by fellow Wannabe Jalva band member Tiago Abrahão, and mastered by Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, Chet Faker). Recently, Tagua Tagua toured Europe and played several shows at SXSW and along the West coast in the US.