14 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Yonlu was a Brazilian teen who grew up under the name Vinicius Gageiro Marques in the coastal town of Porte Alegre. He was struck by the home-recording bug at the young age of 13 and recorded the entirety of A Society In Which No Tear Is Shed before turning 17. By all accounts a serious and introverted young man, Vinicius took his own life shortly after completing this record, leaving behind a hard drive full of wondrous bossa-tinged pop that is stunning for its sense of childlike wonder and overwhelming melancholy. Songs like “A Boy and a Tiger” and “I Know What It’s Like” evoke powerful feelings of rueful nostalgia and suffocating isolation. Though the instrumentation is sparse throughout, often consisting of little more than a strummed acoustic guitar, a minimal drum pattern, and some atmospheric electronic flourishes, Yonlu constructs these songs with the craft and assurance of a master. Simply put, this record is remarkable. The loss of such a talented young voice is a genuine tragedy.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Yonlu was a Brazilian teen who grew up under the name Vinicius Gageiro Marques in the coastal town of Porte Alegre. He was struck by the home-recording bug at the young age of 13 and recorded the entirety of A Society In Which No Tear Is Shed before turning 17. By all accounts a serious and introverted young man, Vinicius took his own life shortly after completing this record, leaving behind a hard drive full of wondrous bossa-tinged pop that is stunning for its sense of childlike wonder and overwhelming melancholy. Songs like “A Boy and a Tiger” and “I Know What It’s Like” evoke powerful feelings of rueful nostalgia and suffocating isolation. Though the instrumentation is sparse throughout, often consisting of little more than a strummed acoustic guitar, a minimal drum pattern, and some atmospheric electronic flourishes, Yonlu constructs these songs with the craft and assurance of a master. Simply put, this record is remarkable. The loss of such a talented young voice is a genuine tragedy.

TITLE TIME
3:03
5:44
1:57
3:57
3:33
1:20
3:42
1:17
3:21
1:55
1:59
3:34
1:30
3:53

About Yonlu

Songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and virtual artist Yonlu was born Vinicius Gageiro Marques, in Porto Alegre, in southern Brazil's Rio Grande du Sul, one of the nation's most populated cultural capitals. The son of a psychoanalyst and a political scientist who was the region's secretary of culture, Yonlu was an aesthetic polymath who was an obsessive photographer, spoke fluent French and English, and became a self-taught music critic who published on numerous websites across the Internet -- he always wrote in English -- choosing the online moniker Yonlu. An avid reader of Franz Kafka, with few flesh-and-blood friends, Yonlu made a life with his art and his reading, and communicated more in the virtual world than in the three-dimensional one. He was described by his mother as a "very serious, perhaps too serious" person; she also said that the way he perceived the world was his weakness.

At the age of 16, Yonlu locked himself into his bathroom, signed on to one of the various suicide forums he belonged to on the Internet, and took his own life via carbon monoxide poisoning, remaining online until the very end. He wrote an extensive note to his parents absolving them from any responsibility for his actions. After his death, his father went through his computer and found numerous musical creations, including the songs that make up his debut album on Luaka Bop. These songs had been shared across the Internet with Yonlu's friends and acquaintances. To his family's surprise, his submissions also contained much celebratory commentary from across Europe. It turned out that Yonlu had become, in his way, a very popular and much discussed virtual artist for his blend of bossa nova and D.I.Y. tropicalia sounds (his hero was Gilberto Gil) as well as his affinity for the music of Nick Drake, Badly Drawn Boy, Radiohead, early Tortoise, and Elliott Smith.

Yonlu's album, A Society in Which No Tear Is Shed Is Inconceivably Mediocre was issued by Luaka Bop as part of the launch of 2009's Three Inches of Music Series along with titles by Marcio Local and the Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt. Of the three, Yonlu's disc stands out for its utterly accessible lo-fi experimentalism, post-rock minimalism, and creative interpretation of the bossa nova, as well as the poetry in its lyrics and the authentic and tender melancholy emotions at the album's heart. As the Luaka Bop press sheet states: "It's the celebration of a life with the talent for a banquet that stopped at the appetizer." ~ Thom Jurek

  • ORIGIN
    Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • GENRE
    Alternative
  • BORN
    Jun 21, 1989

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