Nina Miranda | Freedom Of Movement

Singer Nina Miranda, best known for her airy, seductive Brasilia-London band Smoke City back in the late 1990s has released her first solo record, Freedom of Movement, and it’s featured as the Bandcamp “Album of the Day”. Many music fans will remember her previous incarnation via the song “Underwater Love”, but for me, Smoke City is best remembered for “Flying Away, “With You” and “It’s Amazing”, the latter a song an ex-girlfriend and I used to play for each other. Her style of music is a dual world blending of bossa nova and lounge, Portuguese and English, spoken word and whispery vocals — and it’s easy to understand why it’s also a conduit to romance, travel, cultural beauty, getting lost and sensuality – especially with lyrics like “You follow me to my dreams / And to my pillow seams / In the night I heard, each and every word. It’s so hard for you always / And the place where I want to be is inside you / I dream, I dream, I dream.” If you’ve ever seen Miranda sing live over the years, her voice is a wispy daydream, like a breeze, tone soft and subtle, but her personality is playful and you can see the joyful insouciance in her face. It’s a kind of carefree that seems to match the title of her new record perfectly. She’s the kind of musician, not unlike David Byrne, who seems endlessly curious about trying to combine feeling, language, poetics and even a sense of geography into her sound. Always open to new things. She’s equally comfortable singing about the tradition of marital art-dance in the opener “Capoeria” as the funky 70s-ish disco groove of “Play”, the kaleidoscopically jazzy “The Garden”, the Appalachia-influenced “Feminist Man”, the sunny girl-group pop of “Whole of London”, an elegant Beatles cover of “Julia” or something more in line with the stylings of Gilberto Gil, Marisa Monte and Bebel Gilberto. One of my favorite tracks on the record, aptly named “I Am” feels most like her to me — melodic, thumping, playful — with whistles, pings, echoes, pretty melodies and a beat to dance to. But the best cut on the new record is either “Amazonia Amor” or the dreamy landscape “Silken Horse” — a wild ride, juxtaposing all types of sounds into a gorgeous fusion that’s part Patti Smith, part tribal shaman ritual. There’s a method to the madness. Miranda is a lady on the move, free as can be, and the closest you’ll get to catching her is on a record. Follow her at her official website, facebook and twitter.

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