A horrible hack

Casa Murilo

Lifting Ships

Year Released: 2011
Format: CD
Label: Spoon Train Audio
Reviewed by I.P. on Mar 7, 2011
When music sets sail from Yorkshire to Oslo via Salvador something special happens. It drifts like silt coursing its way downstream, absorbing a rich variety of nutritious elements. It expands, contracts and gets flung in a variety of directions until its journey draws to a close and a new entity emerges, unrecognisable and assured. Sure, I’m no hydrologist so the analogy may not make that much sense, but Casa Murilo’s musical output certainly does. It eventually found its home bedded in the snowy climes of Norway whilst retaining the fervour and flavour of Brazil. And the outcome is delightful.

Casa Murilo’s unique expedition has been documented in detail elsewhere so I am going to skip the blurb. Album opener ‘Drunken Promises’ gives you a good idea, though. Bandmates Dan and Chris, who left their respective Brazilian homes behind to join their respective girlfriends in Norway, pay tribute to days gone by. The playfulness of sacrificing ‘the weed, the wine and the white’ is coupled with the poignancy of leaving behind Esmeraldo and Murilo, two Brazilians who feature heavily in the band’s repertoire (both have songs dedicated to them and the latter is emblazoned in the band name).

The song’s nostalgic quality permeates and pervades throughout this album, one which masterfully bounces from the sparkling ‘19th Floor’ and ‘Show Some Restraint’, to the sombre ‘Button Up’ and ‘Marvin’, to the something-in-betweens of ‘808’s’ and ‘Other Plans’. There are indie pop hooks a-plenty, cemented with soulful harmonies and lyrical witticisms that complement the sprinklings of punchy percussion, handclapping and delicate piano chords.

‘Lifting Ships’ documents the denouement of one era and the plunge into a new one. It is not always easy to decipher the lyrics which draw heavily upon the personal as a conduit for the band’s experiences. Nonetheless, Casa Murilo have struck a balance; they selflessly deliver music that can be universally appreciated, giving something back to the far reaches of the planet that churned out such a talented troupe. Get on board.

Watch these gentlemen wreak havoc in a church here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF_efhHOTrQ

Listen to – or possibly even buy – the album here: http://casamurilo.bandcamp.com/
Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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