In many ways it's surprising that it took until 2015 for Thiago Nassif and Arto Lindsay to meet in person. Lindsay, the legendary no wave musician, had already been in Brazil for a decade, producing albums for some of the country's most revered artists — Caetano Veloso, Tom Zé, Carlinhos Brown, Marisa Monte — and consistently releasing challenging but engrossing albums of his own. By then Nassif, a young, Sao Paulo-born producer and songwriter, was already four years removed from his impressive second LP, Praxis, an album packed with the same off-kilter samba, post-punk, and oddball pop that Lindsay had a hand in pioneering.
Either way, when they did finally meet, they clicked. Lindsay produced Nassif's more sinuous third album, Três; two years later, Nassif returned the favor on Lindsay's Cuidado Madame. Now, five years after meeting for the first time, they're releasing their finest work together.
Mente, premiering below, is a sinuous and ambitious record. Here, Nassif seems to have found lush space between bossa nova and no wave, relying more heavily on groove and melody as the album twitches forward. Those who understand Portuguese will find extra layers here — the album title itself translates to either "mind" or "a lie," for starters — but Nassif's hooks are enough on their own. From the near-flamboyant diversion into English on lead single "Soar Estranho" through the decaying samba of "Feral Fox" and the disorienting esotericism of closer "Santa," the joy that Nassif derives from taking left turns remains contagious.
Listen to Mente below ahead of its release tomorrow via Gearbox Records.