Stockhom Lisboa Project bring together a heady concoction of sounds that blends traditional music from Portugal, Sweden, and beyond. The utterly captivating voice of Liana colours the recording with a sultry Mediterranean heat, whilst the Nordic influences lend a cool precision to proceedings.
The traditional "Corridinho do Ti António" paints a picture of people eager for dance and party, and the mischievous rhythms cooked up by the band capture the party atmosphere perfectly, whilst "Saudade, vai-te embora" marries the essence of lament and longing from Portugese fado with some rather playful, flirtatious sounding interludes. There is true cultural cross-breeding on "Näverbiten / Corpo Aceso," where Portugese lyrics are set to a Swedish waltz, that the album notes inform you are about the common subject of seductive love -- and there is quite possibly nothing more seductive than Liana's alluring voice on songs such as this. The sheer drama that Liana wrings out of "Meu Amor de Ontem" as her voice ascends to a quivering climax, is nothing short of breathtaking.
There is a compelling fusion of instruments throughout Diagonal, and the diverse rhythms and flavours make for a memorable encounter. The undulating tones of Simon Stålspets' Nordic mandola provide a rhythmic underpinning and a tonal range that offers intensity and intricate agility. New member, Filip Jers, brings a striking vibrancy and depth with his collection of harmonicas, with the bass harmonica lending a particularly brooding atmosphere, whilst the violin of Sérgio Crisóstomo provides some of the more exhilarating melodies.
This is music that makes you want to pack a suitcase and explore the rhythms and musical emotions of mainland Europe. Perfectly and passionately articulated, music rarely comes better this, and I fully anticipate this album being amongst my favourite albums of 2009.
Visit Stockholm Lisboa Project on MySpace or on their website.