On Grandeza, the debut album from Sao Paolo–born artist Sessa, the eponymous lead track swings casually into the frame with lightly strummed nylon-stringed guitar and sparse hand percussion. Sessa’s deadpan tenor nonchalantly weaves in and out of the accompaniment of his heavenly, all-female chorus; setting the stage for the mesmerizing vocal interplay that highlights the set throughout. The song plays as if it were cut on a sunny cafe patio; an aesthetic set piece imbuing an impromptu spirit that buoys the album whole. That’s not to say these songs are haphazard. Sessa’s melodies and arrangements are as good as any you’ll hear at the moment, and the aforementioned choir will make your hair stand on end. The latter half of the record takes a slightly freer turn, with reeds, shakers and assorted bric-a-brac, yet Sessa and company never drop the rudder. A beautiful and highly recommended record. words / j steele
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