Indie artist Luiz e os Louises will drop his first album, Life’s a Cigarette, on September 20.
Explaining the album’s genesis, Luiz says, “This is the collection of melodies that have appeared in my mind through the years, before touching any music instrument. I later struggled to turn it into an enjoyable physical product, but it is as natural as I can be. I found out about my inspiration later: the things I speak about in the record happened only after I recorded it. That was the most astonishing thing for me.”
From a small town in Brazil, Luiz, aka Luiz Henrique Niehues, began writing music as a child. Ready to record his debut album, he traveled to New York, where he hooked up with producer Ben Rice of Degraw Sound, who recruited three talented musicians from Nora Jones’ band for the album: Dan Lead (guitar), Pete Remm, and Greg Wieczorek.
While laying down tracks in the studio, Luiz performed at numerous open mics. During the recording process, he encountered Daniel Aragão, the Brazilian movie director in exile for political reasons. Combining their talents, the two produced one short movie and two features to be released in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Right now, the collaborators are working on another.
Luis also chanced upon Larissa Conforto, the stellar Brazilian drummer. All three, Conforto, Luiz, and Aragão, along with the band, traveled to Portugal to film. While in Portugal, they gave a ‘forbidden’ pre-release performance on a rooftop.
Conforto (drums) returned to New York to play at two shows in New York, along with Sabine Holler (bass), and João Nogueira (keyboards), and Dan Lead. Prior to the shows, Luiz presented his short movie Just Another Tuesday Night.
Encompassing 11-tracks, Life’s a Cigarette starts off with “Please Everyone,” riding an undulating indie melody traveling on a light contagious rhythm, as Luiz’s mellow tenor glides overhead. Delicious tripping keyboards infuse the tune with gleaming accents.
Highlights include “Mary Lou,” with its retro flavors of ‘60’s rock, akin to Ricky Nelson, smooth and melodic. There’s an elusive allure to this track, harking back to the thrill of love and velvety sonic demonstrations of captivating attraction.
“Girl” opens on psychedelic alt-rock flavors embellished with phantasmagoric colors reminiscent of The Doors. “Going Home” opens on an elegant piano topped by shimmering tonal accents, as Luiz’s gentle timbres infuse the tune with tender affection. The drifting flow of the harmonics, backed by soft harmonies, imbues the music with tantalizing nostalgia.
Marvelously innovative, Life’s a Cigarette blends unique varieties of sonic textures and smooth infectious rhythms with the cashmere tones of Luiz.