May 28, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by François Quillacq
Franco-Brazilian artist, composer, and producer Yndi is back today, sharing her debut album Noir Brésil, out now via Nascimento/Grand Musique Management. Though Noir Brésil is billed as Yndi’s debut record, some may recognize her from her previous work as Dream Koala. Under the Dream Koala moniker, Yndi debuted with a series of EPs, including 2013’s Odyssey, 2014’s Earth. Home. Destroyed., and 2015’s Exodus. Yndi retired the moniker in 2017, retreating from the stage to begin writing Noir Brésil.
Her debut album marries her heritage, poetry, and startling arrangements for a modern pop album that pulls fearlessly from diverse genres and immerses the listener in dense gorgeous soundscapes. Thundering Afro-Brazilian percussion serves as the driving soul of the record, while Yndi delivers languid art pop melodies worthy of FKA Twigs and soul-baring French and Portuguese poetry. At times urgent, at other’s tranquil and hopeful, Yndi offers a stirring look into herself with Noir Brésil, an immersive vision that has been years in the making.
Listen to the record in full below and read Yndi’s exclusive track-by-track guide through its songs here.
In Brazil, it is customary to pay tribute to one’s ancestors. Noir Brésil is a song in their memory.
In the candomble, lansa is a divine figure of a warrior, queen of lighting and storms. The song is an homage to the independence, strength, and passion which characterizes the contemporary woman.
“Um novo dia amanheceu”, meaning “A new day comes”, is a glowing song rich with hope and inspiration as we look on to the future. It pushes people to look forward, promising them that the conquest of a new world, a new life, is always possible.
It is a rhythmic trance with nocturnal evocations, the dark point of the album. In the lyrics, wandering spirits try to save themselves from the void. I was inspired by ghost stories and a scene from the film ‘Orfeu Negro’.
I slowed down the guitars and percussion of ‘Amazona’ to make them echo on this interlude that evokes insomnia and solitude.
The irregular rhythm of this song represents a feeling of instability. When you don’t feel at home anywhere.
O Canto Das Ondas
“The song of the waves” is the only bossa nova track on the album. I wanted to express the melancholy of a seascape at night.
“Saudade” is a difficult word to translate into English, it expresses a mixture of melancholy, hope and nostalgia. It’s a song about the distance between me and my Brazilian family and the time that separates me from my childhood memories.
It’s a song about leaving something behind that testifies to our passage in this life. The second part is completely instrumental and represents the immensity of the ocean in the face of human fragility.
“Maracatu’ is a rhythm that comes from the north-east of Brazil, where my grandfather is from. It is played in processions that symbolise the coronations of African kings and queens. The intensity of this rhythm inspired me to create biblical images that evoke the elements of fire and earth.
Dia de Carnaval
Bordering the Bossa-Nova genre, it is a song which illustrates in a slow-motion-esque sense, a carnival in which spirits and all forms of life come together.
Inspired by the novel ‘Death in Summer’ by Yukio Mishima, I wrote this song during a heat wave in the South. It speaks of the unbearable and heavy side of summer. The destructive force that the sun can have on nature but represented by a simple piano-vocal.