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Cape Verde’s Lucibela brings to Sydney the sounds popularised by the late, great singer Cesária Évora: Portuguese-influenced-folk propelled by a silky, emotive voice, trained by years of singing in Santa Maria hotel bars.
Lucibela’s 2018 debut album Laço Umbilical is a showcase of the West African archipelago’s regional music: morna, a take on the melancholic laments of traditional Portuguese fado, and coladeira, the buoyant folk music of celebration.
Drawing influence from the islands’ history as a Portuguese colony, Cape Verde’s morna music explores ‘saudade’, that untranslatable Portuguese term for melancholic nostalgia, or pleasurable suffering. “Ever since the death of diva Cesária Évora in 2011,” NPR wrote, “fans have been waiting for another Cape Verdean singer with sublime poise and emotional power. We may have found her in Lucibela.”