Lula Pena – Archivo Pittoresco (4 stars)

A stunning follow-up that fuses a multitude of styles

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Lula Pena – Archivo Pittoresco

Lula Pena's first album since 2010's Troubadour was worth the wait. The Portuguese singer-songwriter has a deeply personal style, drawing on fado, flamenco, bossa nova, French chanson, and folk songs from Greece, Sardinia and Chile. Using texts by Brazilian and Belgian poets, as well as her own lyrics, Pena writes songs that are both mysterious and empathetic. Her voice is a gorgeous thing: warm and finely grained, with a subtly expressive vibrato on sustained notes. She accompanies herself on acoustic guitar, beating out rhythms with her fingers and palm as she strums. A magical record.

Out now on Crammed Discs.

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