Nico Paulo :: Nico Paulo

“Have you ever thought of dancing as moving into time?” asks Nico Paulo, a kaleidoscopic, technicolor shuffle of horns, guitars, and percussion swirling across her breathy tenor. If you haven’t, that will likely change after listening to the St. John’s-based, Portuguese-Canadian artist’s self-titled debut. A bright, sweeping album of Tropicália-inflected jazz-folk & dream-pop, its warm palette is idiosyncratic with baroque, choral leanings and occasional electric launches, following Paulo through existential, lovelorn odysseys and contemplative walks through the elements. Across its ten tracks, she proves a romantic through-and-through, dream waltzing on “Lovers in the Street” and transcending space to honor familial ancestry on “Hand Kisser.” Her voice expands, resounding amidst hand drums and giddy clarinet. Always in motion, but taking its time, it’s a record that dances despite its demons, in no fear of losing track of time. As the sun sets later and later these days, the daydreaming quality of this music becomes only more alluring. | c depasquale

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