If the first decades after the 25 de Abril Revolution showed a reluctance from the younger generations to embrace fado and other traditional forms of Portuguese music, the new millenium (and a new generation, removed both from the hardships of the dictatorship and the whiplash effect of the smorgasbord of new influences discovered immediately after, including the first few English-singing bands in the late 80s and 90s) saw a rediscovery and reappraisal of fado.
Contributing to that reapprasial were both young fadistas of the traditional mould reshaped their sound to incorporate new sounds and rhythms (together with a more modern, lively uptake on life which toned down the dourness of fado and brought it to the new mainstream) and the appearance of fado-inspired bands, using some of its sounds while trying to reinvent its wheels, crafting funny, quirky and uplifting portraits of daily life – if only fado didn’t take itself so seriously!
Deolinda (a woman’s name, emphasizing the quirky aspect of the music and its Portugalness) is the band that encapsulates the best of these impulses. Their concerns are grounded in the quotidian, but they always find an engaging way of relaying the importance of the trivial and the wisdom to be mined from such situations – including an acute awareness of social injustices creating a lighter (but no less strong) social protest songs.
“Fado Toninho” – Portuguese lyrics and English translation here
“Fon Fon Fon” (in song, onomatopoeia for the sound of the tuba played by the singer’s romantic interest) – Portuguese lyrics here
“Parva Que Sou” (How Silly I Am) – Portuguese lyrics and English translation here