musical gifts from the algarve

The Algarve has long been known for its splendid beaches, endless sandy shores, beautiful cliffs, and good weather. However, there is a lesser-known yet equally fascinating aspect of the region: its music scene. I invite you to explore the Algarve, far beyond its undeniable natural beauty, through a sonic journey that traverses ten different musical genres.

Acoustic | Mateus Verde

We begin this itinerary with Mateus Verde, an Algarvian singer-songwriter who describes himself as a “Sound Farmer and Song Alchemist.” With his voice accompanied by the electric guitar, he creates contemplative and intimate music inspired by nature and its mysteries. His themes range from Folk to atmospheric and dreamy landscapes, always exploring a mysterious and sometimes esoteric imaginary. We invite you to check out his first EP “Esteva” and his debut album “Feiticeira.”

Fado / Portuguese Guitar | Terrasul

Traditional Portuguese music cannot be missed on this journey, with Ricardo J. Martins and Vítor Bacalhau seeking connections between Fado and Rock, Blues, and Country, styles that are very distinct yet share much in common. The search for these similarities is what drives “TerraSul,” an unusual blend of identity music that evokes the soul’s lament and has deep roots in the people; an apparently impossible fusion. In their debut album “Encruzilhada,” one can hear the moan of the Portuguese guitar and the cry of the electric guitar united in full harmony.

Hip-Hop | Perigo Público

Moving through the “urban area” of our itinerary, we must highlight Élton Mota, or Perigo Público. He was part of the collective APC (Autonomia Para Criar), but it was solo that he gained respect and notoriety among his peers and the public, still being considered one of the biggest national references in Hip-Hop. An attentive spectator and passionate about music and the meaning of words, he knew how to sculpt fury and spontaneity, transforming them into reflections with a different density and refinement. After releasing “Jeans Monroe” and “1991,” the journey through urban sounds that are part of his growth now knows a third chapter with the album “Porcelana.”

Unique souvenirs

Indie | Time For T

It’s time to take a break with Time for T, a band that delves into the intersection of influences touching on Tropicália, Folk Rock, Tuareg Blues, and Soul. It’s an eclectic sonic menu that opens up lightly to hemispheres and meridians, bringing beaches, forests, and deserts to humanity. “Hoping Something Anything” has already lifted feet off the ground at various national and international festivals such as Green Man, NOS Alive, Super Bock Super Rock, and the Secret Garden Party. The album was featured on BBC Radio 1 and 6 (UK), Antena 3 (Portugal), and Deutschland Radio Kultur (Germany). One of their singles, “Rescue Plane,” even reached the top spot on the Spotify UK Viral Charts.

Jazz Fusion | Plasticine

And speaking of journeys, I present to you a Jazz Fusion band that challenges sonic boundaries: Plasticine. Their music transcends genres by combining elements of Progressive Rock, Funk, Jazz, and Soul, and crosses geographical borders by incorporating Afrobeat, Latin, and Oriental influences into their sound. The band was nominated for Best Instrumental Performance and People’s Choice at the IPMA Awards 2021, won the Marginália Battle of the Bands in 2019, and opened the MED Festival 2022. They recently released a new album, “The Most Beautiful Skies,” which deals with global and individual battles and has already been mentioned in several international music blogs.

Metal | Prayers of Sanity

This will surely be the most intense stop on this musical journey. Prayers of Sanity is a band formed in Lagos with the aim of reminding everyone that 80s thrash metal is still alive and kicking! Prayers of Sanity has shared the stage with some renowned bands such as Destruction, Municipal Waste, Bonded by Blood, among others. The band has also performed at some important events such as Wacken Open Air, Slaughter by the Water, Vagos Open Air, Festival Ilha do Ermal, and many more. In 2021, they released the album “Doctrine of Misanthropy,” which combines Thrash with the raw intensity of punk in pure and undiluted fury.

Pop | Teresa Aleixo

Moving to Pop, it’s Teresa Aleixo’s music that deserves our attention. Although she is a songwriter and singer originally from Lisbon, it was the city of Faro that saw her grow. In March 2019, she released her debut album “Quanto de Mim” and performed on stages like Festival MED and Festival F, being nominated for the Choque Frontal Awards in the categories of Best Song, Best Album, and Algarve Revelation Artist, winning the latter. In 2021, she released the song “Saudade,” composed and produced by herself and singer-songwriter Fernando Leal, and was invited by RTP to join the panel of judges from the Algarve region in the final of the Festival da Canção ’21, alongside Áurea and Napoleão Mira.

Reggae | Naomi & The Raposeira Dub Colectiv

Taking a detour into the interior of the Algarve, we find Naomi & The Raposeira Dub Colectiv, a Reggae Dub Ska band with members from various nationalities: Mitchell Hay (Australia) on drums and backing vocals, Rui Correia (Portugal) on bass, guitar, and backing vocals, Naomi Jessica Sigfalk (Sweden) on vocals and ukulele, and Mateusz Slowinski (Poland) on guitar and backing vocals. They released the album “Live at Tojeiro” in 2019, which was recorded live at the legendary Pizza Party “Friday Happiness,” precisely in Tojeiro.

Rock | The Mirandas

Knocking on the door of Rock, it’s The Mirandas who come to open it, treating us to blues and rock from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Inês Miranda’s powerful voice joins hands with Ivo Ferreira’s guitar sound and Gabriel Costa’s interstellar journey on the keys, commanded by the time and rhythm captains Ruben Azevedo and Luís Caracinha. The band has performed at festivals such as MED, International Blues Festival, Faro Biker Rally, Festival F, Festival Paredes de Coura, among others. “All Those Yesterdays” arrived in 2021, a melancholic composition, ambiguous in feelings, of blacks and grays, of what was.

World Music | Orfélia

What better way to end the musical route than with a genre that draws from various regions of the world. Orfélia is Portuguese and Brazilian music. A two in one that is not just one or the other. A musical partnership between two countries, two stories, that intersect and create this offspring. Conceived by Filipe Mattos and Anaïs Thinon, Orfélia creates original songs that explore various musical genres from Brazil and Portugal to create a unique sound. The duo won the “Inéditos Vodafone 2020″ contest, collaborated with Tiago Saga from the band Time For T on the track ‘Baba Marta,” and released a new album this year called “Tudo o Que Move.”

This was a brief journey to introduce some of the music created in one of the most beautiful districts of Portugal. However, the journey doesn’t end here! Besides paradisiacal beaches, the Algarve is teeming with outstanding musicians and artists. Stay tuned and let yourself be surprised by the cultural quality of the region.

This post was written by Mafalda Johannsen.

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