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About a Girl - EP

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Album Review

Quietly surfacing about a year before its accompanying full-length, Cibelle's About a Girl EP is brief at only four tracks, but nonetheless, it's thoroughly enjoyable and a perfect primer for The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves, the long-gestating album that would follow in 2006. Like The Shine, About a Girl opens with an ambient, almost a cappella cover song: the title track, originally penned by Kurt Cobain and performed by Nirvana. It may well seem like a surprising cover choice, since Cibelle's prior work had been primarily in the samba-lounge style synonymous with Suba, the producer with whom she established herself and, to an extent, remains associated. Yet the choice to cover a Nirvana hit — rather than, say, a Jobim or Gilberto Gil song — is no doubt a conscious decision by Cibelle to distance herself from her past. And indeed, the music of this EP and the subsequent LP bare little in common with the samba-lounge of Cibelle's past work. Rather, she's now cast herself as a bilingual Portuguese-English singer/songwriter in tandem with talented collaborators, namely Apollo Nove and Mike Lindsay, who are heavily involved with these songs. They grace Cibelle with acoustic guitar-driven soundscapes that serve as detail-rich canvases for her singer/songwriter poetics. This modus operandi, which would blossom a year later on The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves, is sketched out here on About a Girl, and indeed, this EP is just as creatively bountiful as that LP, albeit in an abbreviated fashion. A perfect primer, About a Girl signals a bold move away from "Brazilian" music toward an individual style, something that The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves does on a much grander scale.


Born: 02 January 1978 in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Genre: Brazilian

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Brazilian singer Cibelle was just a five-year-old child in São Paulo when she told her mother she wanted to start taking guitar lessons. Her mother agreed, and Cibelle moved around from instrument to instrument, trying her hand at the piano, percussion, and voice. As a teenager she was more interested in acting, appearing in commercials and promotional spots on MTV Brazil, but eventually realized that singing was her true passion and started performing at jam sessions around the city. It was at one...
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About a Girl - EP, Cibelle
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