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Musical Memoirs: As For the Future's Soundscape Sofia Ribeiro Willcox listens to the new LP by As For the Future'

Musical Memoirs: As For the Future's Soundscape

Sofia Ribeiro Willcox listens to the new LP by As For the Future'

by Sofia Ribeiro Willcox, Cultural Exchanger and Explorer
first published: June, 2024

approximate reading time: minutes

Both the band and their debut self-titled album reveal the importance of memory, particularly in a world where some still deny the existence of the absurd and grotesque past.

AS FOR THE FUTURE
As For The Future
(independent/Bandcamp)
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In a harmonious collision of cultures and melodies, As For The Future, a band hailing from the bustling streets of the concrete jungle, New York City, invites us on a symphony of stories infused with the rhythms of Brazil — an antidote for the homesick abroad. With their debut album aptly titled "As For The Future," they not only pay homage to the enigmatic prose of the renowned Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector but also echo the timeless rhythms of Brazilian music that resonate with the past while shaping the future.

As For The Future exists somewhere between a band and a collective, relying on the talents of songwriter/musician David Nagler, vocalist Alexia Bomtempo, Mauro Refosco (known for his work with David Byrne’s American Utopia, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Atoms for Peace), and Ryan Keberle (recognized for his contributions to David Bowie's work and the Maria Schneider Orchestra), among others. The group began to take shape during the summer of 2020, with over 15 different musicians contributing remotely to the recording of new material. Rooted in the ethos of Tropicália, they blend diverse influences to create a unique musical experience.

Tropicália was a vibrant cultural and musical movement that emerged in Brazil during the 1960s, amidst the tumultuous years of the military dictatorship. It stood as a bold form of artistic resistance, blending traditional Brazilian music with avant-garde, psychedelic, and rock influences. Artists associated with Tropicália aimed to challenge the political and cultural status quo by embracing themes of cultural hybridity, diversity, and social critique. Through the use of irony, satire, metaphors, and ambiguity in their lyrics, they adeptly subverted censorship and addressed controversial topics, thereby raising awareness among Brazilians of the underlying horrors of the time. This served as a form of veiled resistance, allowing Tropicália artists to confront oppressive forces while celebrating the richness and complexity of Brazilian culture.

In 2020, amid the global pandemic, Brazil found itself under the governance of an extreme-right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro. While Brazil maintains its status as a democracy on paper, there were striking resemblances between Bolsonaro's government and the authoritarian regime of the past. The military dictatorship is known for the authoritarianism, human rights abuses, political persecution, exile, and censorship. A cultural renaissance emerged, with art playing a crucial role in resistance against oppressive forces. Bolsonaro's mishandling of the pandemic, particularly his negligence regarding vaccination efforts, inflicted deep wounds on Brazilian families, as well as his hate to minorities.

As For The Future's melodies draw inspiration from Nova MBP, or New Brazilian Popular Music, representing a refreshing renewal within the landscape of Brazilian music. This genre emerged in the early 2000s, ushering in a new wave of artists who brought forth a modern musicality that seamlessly blends classic elements of MPB—such as the intimate interplay of voice and guitar—with a diverse array of influences including samba, bossa nova, pop, rock, and electronic beats. Characterized by captivating lyrics and stripped-down yet intricate soundscapes, Nova MBP captivates listeners with its innovative approach to Brazilian music.

As For The Future masterfully crafts a sound that bridges continents and generations, serving as a reminder that to understand our future, we must first acknowledge our past. Their music stands as a testament to the evolving nature of Brazilian music, seamlessly blending tradition with innovation. With an ability to captivate audiences both at home and abroad, As For The Future exemplifies the enduring power of music to transcend borders and unite souls. While their songs are predominantly in English, they exude a distinct Brazilian essence that adds depth and richness to their sound.

Both the band and their debut self-titled album reveal the importance of memory, particularly in a world where some still deny the existence of the absurd and grotesque past. Brazilian historian Emília Yotti da Costa eloquently articulates this sentiment, stating, 'A people without memory is a people without history; they are bound to commit, in the present and the future, the same mistakes of the past.'

The infectious rhythms of bossa nova intertwine seamlessly with the soulful melodies of MPB in As For The Future's music, while the percussive heartbeat of samba infuses every beat with vitality. Yet, amidst this homage to the past, the band injects their own unique flair, creating a fusion that feels both nostalgic and refreshingly contemporary.

In 'As For The Future,' listeners will discover not just an album, but the enduring legacy of Brazilian music and its remarkable ability to inspire, uplift, and transcend. As we embark on this musical odyssey with As For The Future, let us heed their sage advice and embrace the wisdom of the past as we journey towards an ever-evolving future.


essential information

find As For The Future on bandcamp here asforthefuture.bandcamp.com

Sofia Ribeiro Willcox
Cultural Exchanger and Explorer

Sofia has a BA with Hons in Creative and Professional Writing and Film and Television Studies from the University of Wolverhampton (2020-2023). Born in Brazil, Sofia is an enthusiast of pop culture (cinephile and melophile), social sciences (snowflake generation), and poetry (lusophone).


about Sofia Ribeiro Willcox »»

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