Rodrigo Leão

Songs (2004-2012)

Release Date: 06/17/2013 · Format: CD/LP(+CD)/DIGITAL · Catalog-No: GRCD/LP 759

“Portugal’s answer to Brian Eno” (Songlines)

You may not recognise the name, but you know the talent behind it, and you're sure to have already heard his enchanting way with a melody.

Rodrigo Leão was one of the musicians and composers behind the extraordinarily successful Portuguese ensemble Madredeus; he was in the band for nearly 10 years before leaving to focus on his own solo career.

That was twenty years ago, though. Ever since, Rodrigo Leão has been on a magical journey that has taken him from rock stardom to neo-classical and film music and back, with the pop song as one of the guiding lights of his work as a composer and performer. It's that guiding light that Songs represents, bringing together all the English-language pop songs included in his last three studio albums.

You will recognise some of these voices: Portishead's Beth Gibbons, The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon, Tindersticks' Stuart Staples, Scott Matthew and Joan Wasser aka Joan as Policewoman. Others – such as The Gift's Sónia Tavares and regular collaborator Ana Vieira – will make you want to learn more about them.

Not every one of the songs included in Songs is previously released. Joan Wasser's first collaboration with Rodrigo, “The Long Run”, and “Incomplete”, featuring Scott Matthew, are newly recorded especially for this collection; but the magic of Rodrigo's dreamy, cinematic songwriting is such that these ten pieces seem to have been cut from the same cloth and recorded in a single session.

Rodrigo speaks of Songs as a first step in a trilogy that may never even get out of his head; the remaining steps could be the songs in Portuguese that he has scattered throughout his discography, or maybe his experiments with the Spanish language and modes of writing, skirting the tango or the milonga.

For now, though, sit back, relax and enjoy these Songs. They may be the first ones you hear of Rodrigo Leão's solo career, but we bet that you will want to hear more. Much more.

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01 The Long Run
02 Deep Blue
03 Happiness
04 Sleepless Heart
05 Cathy
06 Lonely Carousel
07 Lost Words
08 Terrible Dawn
09 This Light Holds So Many Colours
10 Incomplete

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