bird songs and tutti frutti twilight zone


“The music of Portuguese songstress Rita Braga simultaneously summons the ghosts of Carmen Miranda and synth pioneers such as Delia Derbyshire and Bruce Haack. Her world is one of colours, exuding both the charm of a vintage cartoon character merrily bouncing along and the ominous melancholy of a lost kitten. Having toured all around the world for the best part of a decade, her shows which are both performative and visual will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a David Lynch movie from which you may not return.” (Paul Mangan, EurNoVision)

“For now let us ever so gently take you by the hand to guide you into the faraway dreamland that Ms Braga cocoons herself within, a world teased in a childlike surreal innocence, both spectral and minimalist, populated by a playful alchemy whose somewhat casual absent mindedness charms and chimes with a crooked and kooky allure. Reference wise, Ms Braga shares a kinship with the Space Lady, both operating in a sparse pop purist medium that draws its lineage back to Silver Apples, add in a smidgeon of Hologram Teen, Serafina Steer and for good measure several sonic spoonful’s of Jodie Lowther / Quimper along with a whiff of Petunia Liebling MacPumpkin and you’ll be close to unlocking the inner workings of these curiously affectionate mysterios. For now, our radar has hooked itself upon ‘national anthem to the moon’ and set closer ‘a quantic dream’. The former featuring a guest appearance by Mary Ocher on vocals, arrived pressed with a nostalgic glow and possessed of a remoteness that collectively drawn together give the impression that its fallen through a fracture in time from a Mute / Dindisc post punk electronic age c.1979, while the latter, featuring the adorable sound of the little heard Theremin, here played by Dorit Chrysler, unpeels to reveal something of a mildly disquieting ethereally eerie lunar folk ghost light sprayed in fairy dust delicacies, darkly demurring in short.” (Mark Barton – The Sunday Experience)

“Years ago on the old time radio show Dimension X I heard an adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s story The Green Hills of Earth, about a man called Rhysling, singer of the spaceways, a folk singer who accompanied the first travelers into outer space. Rita brings this idea to life, maybe the first time ever, with a set of 14 songs in nearly half a dozen Earth languages that explore the wonders of the cosmos, while never losing perspective on the importance of human love. A ukulele, synthesizer and few other instruments are all she needs to charm her listeners.” (Fred Roberts – Ragazine)

“Accompanying herself on ukulele, harp, cheap analog synths, and rhythm machines, Rita’s minimal compositions provide a weird peek inside her mind and her love of old cartoons and movies. Similar to Pascal Comelade’s compositions using toy instruments, Rita’s love of old Casio toy synths and rhythm machines provides a similar vibe. Though Rita is not near as outré as Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin’s modern take on The Residents, Rita’s songs do provide a change of pace to the sonic barrage of today’s musicians.” (Henry Schneider – Exposé Online)

“On ne se refait pas, dès que l’on écoute un nouveau disque, nous cherchons la filiation, la zone de confort dans laquelle l’artiste a certainement posé sa valise (le premier qui me dit carton se prend deux claques de ma part et de celle de Rita). Chez Rita Braga il va être difficile, l’artiste serait un électron tellement libre qu’il échapperait à des radars qui croiseraient leurs données. Rita aurait eu comme lieu de prédilection les caves d’une electro séminale et débarrassée de la vacuité contemporaine, la cuisine d’une Brigitte Fontaine d’avant la Zoo Tv, la salle de sport de Philippe Katerine de l’époque de Jeannie Longo et les endroits décalés fréquentés par la standardiste du bureau du shérif de Twin Peaks et de son policier de mari. Passant de l’allemand au français en passant par le portugais sans que cela face sonner l’alerte moderne des gardiens des frontières, Rita Braga nous propose des chansons vignettes, avançant à son rythme (c’est-à-dire lent) nous contant des histoires dont la banalité supposée cache de toute évidence une forme de perversité pouvant par exemple nous hypnotiser au point de nous vêtir comme elle (l’effet au bureau pourrait être détonnant). Un oiseau sur la Lune, une araignée au plafond, la démarche féline, le déguingondé d’une girafe, Rita Braga est un bestiaire foutraque,qui à l’image de sa garde-robe, fait dans la couleur et le patchwork, cachant mal une sensibilité à fleur de peau drapée sous une folie douce. Vive Rita. (À découvrir absolument)

“Elle a pour nom Rita Braga, et une fois de plus on est sous charme. Cette jeune portugaise compose une musique synth pop lo-fi artisanale qui donne la banane. Avec le son cheap d’un synthé d’occasion et quelques accords de ukulélé, Rita Braga chante comme une grande. Sa musique possède une touche mélancolique et enfantine, parfois comptine. Quelque part entre Telex, Kraftwerk, YMO, Charlie O., Mikado, Stereolab, Karl Biscuit, Residents, Julee Cruise et Sonoko, le petit monde sonore de Rita Braga est une boite à jouets prête à s’ouvrir dans un cirque ambulant ou une BO d’un jeu vidéo vintage. Ce deuxième album comporte 14 morceaux. Les textes sont chantés en portugais, anglais, allemand, français. Parmi les surprises, Ian Svenonius (The Nation Of Ulysses, The Make-Up, Chain On The Gang, Escape ISM, XYZ) est venu poser sa voix à la Alan Vega sur Church Bite, le musicien de thérémine Dorit Chrysler et la chanteuse berlinoise Mary Ocher sont également venue donner un coup de main. Au final, le petit monde coloré de Rita Braga s’écoute les yeux grands ouverts devant un livre d’images et les oreilles en éveil attentif aux petites bulles pop taillées à la racine du coquelicot, pour ne garder que l’essentiel. Oui, juste l’essentiel. Et mention spécial à la reprise Upa Upa de Carmen Miranda (de 1945 !) ici en version lo-fi DIY qui ne nous quitte plus.” (Froutraque)

“I’ll just say that Rita Braga ‘Erosão’ is simply breathless, beautiful frosted chimes, it offers a dream dazed slice of wood crafted folk enchantment trading in a noir traced 60’s shimmering, think Mary Hopkins meets Seafina Steer and you’ll be as near to close as you can be.” (Mark Barton – The Sunday Experience)

“É desconcertante a sinceridade com que Rita Braga se entrega a Gringo In São Paulo. A completa ausência de pretensiosismo é chocante para aqueles de nós que tendem a levar a música como algo “sério”. Não que a artista não leve a música a sério, mas a diversão palpável na forma como canta temas como a faixa homónima ou “Tralalala” esbate a linha que separa diversão e trabalho. E isso maravilha e causa ligeira inveja.” (Jorge de Almeida,

“Rita Braga fait des concerts très forts avec toute sa fragilité.  Elle souffle des airs adorables entre vos oreilles, comme la mignone brise de la fin d’après-midi avant le rafraîchissement. Elle aides Nestis à faire couler entre vos yeux des larmes…. Mais de joie. Rita Braga est une bonne nouvelle de chaque instant.” (David Chazam)

 “All way from Lisbon, Portugal comes Rita Braga. This charming and beautiful ukulele queen with a voice of velvet plays a brilliant mishmash of sound. Combining Julee Cruise esque Lounge with a strange mix of folk ranging from Serbian, Hawaiian, and Appalachian Mountain music, Rita Braga’s sound is truly unique and refreshing.” (Chris Carlone)

“De cette scène [portugaise], le mundillo rock bordelais connait au moins Rita Braga, fragile chanteuse dont la voix rappelle vaguement celle de Jane Birkin et dont l’horizon musical va du psychédélisme avec synthétiseurs jusqu’à des ballades façon jazz des années 20-30 avec ukulélé.” (Sud Ouest, France)

“Rita’s career is a mishmash of everything – field recordings, analogue sounds, self-published material, internet radio, pirate webcasts, low-fi and soundcloud, home tapes of her singing over the sound of old records and broken old radios. Throughout she has been changing identities, leaving them behind like old clothes. She has collaborated with numerous musicians (such as Presidente Drogado), and forms bands in a jiffy. Original posters for her shows are usually made by well known graphic artists. She even claims that cartoon characters appear in her dreams, and give her career advice.” (Dragan Kremer, Vreme magazine, Serbia)

“Cherries that went to the police”, Rita Braga – uma cantora portuguesa… quase com certeza, uma vez que Rita Braga canta na sua (nossa) língua nativa, mas também em inglês, russo, grego… Topei com este álbum sem querer numa recente viagem a Portugal. Não conhecia Rita e achei curioso um disco de uma cantora de lá tão poliglota. “Cherries” é uma surpresa deliciosa a cada faixa: músicas com um “ar de antigamente”, mas com uma vitalidade que não poderia ser mais do “agora”. Sem medo de encarar um repertório nada convencional, Rita foi para mim uma das melhores revelações de 2011.” (Zeca Camargo – Globo G1, Brasil)

“O inglês para impressionar não passa por aqui. Nas ruas de Filadélfia, LA, Buenos Aires, Gent e Lisboa nasceu esta bela coleção de quadros impressionistas de um espírito singular “vigiado” por Bernardo Devlin. Que busca o seu lugar no mundo entre a instrospeção e o absurdo, a melancolia e a aventura e a tradição e a modernidade numa deriva existencial que – com a devida distância – evoca Tom Waits.” (Ricardo Saló in Jornal Expresso, Portugal)

“Vai do folclore polaco ao vaudeville, de Angelo Badalamenti a Adriano Correia de Oliveira, passando por Ennio Morricone. Invariável é a estranheza dos arranjos, a meio caminho entre a loja de brinquedos e a sucata, que servem de sustento às fantasias retro desta menina actriz. Cherries That Went To The Police é o album de estreia de Rita Braga e uma belíssima excursão num universo de clichés nostálgicos, deliciosamente aldrabados.” (Vogue Portugal)

“Cherries That Went To The Police: soberba música do mundo, com as raízes aqui e as asas por toda a parte.” (Nuno Rogeiro, Revista Sábado, Portugal)

“O que torna “Cherries The Went To The Police” um objecto fascinante, porém, não é apenas a capacidade de Rita Braga, armada de ukulele e acompanhada pelo “swingante” Nik Phelps no clarinete ou pelo pó desértico da Chris Carlone Orchestra, criar um universo coerente, evocativo de imagens no limite do cinematográfico, destes sons de origem diversa. Este é um álbum de amor por toda esta música, tocado com evidente prazer, mas que recusa enclausurá-lo nas suas formas originais. “Cherries That Went To The Police” não é um álbum tradicional, é a corporização do rico imaginário de Rita Braga, repleto de deliciosos e inventivos pauzinhos na engrenagem: a rebetika grega em órgão com sabor a fantasmagoria circense ou o baixo eléctrico de Rui Dâmaso em “Katyusha” são disso dois óptimos exemplos. São eles (os “paus na engrenagem”, a voz de Rita Braga, a capacidade de nos arrastar na sua fantasia) que tornam “Cherries That Went To The Police” um álbum absurdamente cativante.” (Mário Lopes, Ípsilon)