Ana Lua Caiano

Vou Ficar Neste Quadrado

Glitterbeat • 2024

»Vou Ficar Neste Quadrado« promises fun. For the debut LP by Portuguese singer Ana Lua Caiano is both celebratory in mood and nerdy in execution. Her model is the combination of pulsating club beats and art pop vocals à la Bjork. Steeped in the Glitterbeat tradition, she fills it with local influences. »When I talk about traditional Portuguese music,« Caiano elaborates, »I’m not talking about Fado, I’m talking about a type of sonority sung in the countryside using canons, harmonies, and chorus.« By now, to combine techno with ethnic vocals can feel formulaic. But if there’s anything to be learned from mathematics, it is that old formular can have grand applications. »Vou Ficar Neste Quadrado« feels like a spectacular innovation, even if it ain’t none. It echoes through dusty libraries and stuffy dancefloors like a whoop of joy. At that, the songwriting is both the greatest strength of »Vou Ficar Neste Quadrado« and its Achilles’ heel. Minus intro, outro, and a (somewhat gimmicky) Bonus track, it consists of nine songs. Eight of which are between 02:03 and 02:49 minutes long. The outlier is 03:21. This extreme conciseness makes for gripping listening sessions. Yet, it feels underdeveloped at times, as if some motives were promised a resolution that’s never achieved. Not on this album at least. Ana Lua Caiano is high on my list of artists to watch.