WATCH: Elza Soares Interview
, June 7th, 2016 08:45
The septuagenarian Brazilian singer discusses her new album of samba sujo, The woman at the end of the world, out on Friday
This week Elza Soares, the Brazilian samba luminary, releases no less than her 34th album. Titled The woman at the end of the world (A mulher do fim do mundo), it's the 78-year-old singer's first to feature recordings of new material since she began releasing albums in 1960. The songs were put together by a group of musicians, featuring the members of São Paulo four-piece Passo Torto among them, who bring their disparate influences to forge an album of samba sujo ("dirty samba").
The result is a gloriously tumultuous record, shot through with elements of rock, electronics and hip-hop; "A bold modern sound", in Soares's words, "these songs are tense – they do not allow you to relax." That tension comes as much from the sonic mix as it does the lyrical focus on sex, racism, domestic violence and drug addiction in her country. Having grown up in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, survived an abusive marriage and been exiled from the country by the military junta in the late Sixties, Soares' vantage point for these issues is sadly one of lived experience, though her drive to voice defiance rings through the album. Speaking about its title in the video above, put together by Mais Um Discos, the London-based label putting the record out, and featuring interviews with Soares and the record's producer, Guilherme Kastrup, the singer says: "The 'woman at the end of the world' is the kind that fights, that believes, that isn't afraid, that rises above everything."
The album gets a physical release on vinyl and CD on Friday, June 10, while you can download it now over at Mais Um Discos's Bandcamp here.