For a decade now, Superchunk frontman and
Somewhere along the line, McCaughan fell in love with Tropicalia. If you have ever been seduced by the sounds of
While the language shift may come as a surprise to many longtime Portastatic fans, McCaughan's voice retains the shattering earnestness and pleading sincerity that characterize Portastatic's original songs. As one would expect with Portastatic, the music also has a fuzzy lo-fi sheen, imbuing these already-lovely songs with an added layer of endearing fragility. It's different and quite wonderful.
Caetano Veloso's "Baby" is one of the most romantic songs in any language, and here McCaughan underscores its loping rhythm and lovely melody with a panoply of horns and squiggling guitars. "Lamento Sertanejo" ("Country Lament") originally appeared on Gilbert Gil's 1975 album Refazenda. Portastatic imbues it with a sharp poignancy and bristling guitars. McCaughan returns to English for the somber and sorrowful "I Fell in Love One Day," from Os Mutantes'
On his 2001 film soundtrack for the Canadian indie flick Looking for Leonard, McCoughan took his obsession with Brazilian Tropicalia even further, using it to inform the atmospheric, all-instrumental compositions of the score. Pretty organ melodies, Latin guitars, and swishing South American rhythms dominate, evoking feelings of nostalgia and sweet regret, as you'll see from "Stealing Romance" and "Luka's Theme (Shaker Mix)." We present those two tracks and the de mel, de melão EP to you, com acucar, com afeto (with sugar, with affection). Enjoy.