Heartcore Records’ newest release available May 31, 2023
Heartcore Records is proud to announce guitarist, singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Pedro Martins’ second album on Heartcore Records. Rádio Mistério is a kaleidoscopic journey through Martins’ vast musical mind featuring an all-star cast of guest musicians including Eric Clapton, Thundercat, Omar Hakim, JD Beck, Chris Fishman, and Daryl Johns.
Pedro Martins is a Brazilian guitarist, singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and bandleader hailed as one of the most promising young musicians of his generation. His eclectic fusion of Brazilian and Western musical forms into a cohesive poetic whole has garnered him widespread international respect and acclaim.
“I wanted to see how I could get deeper into the honesty of my music and try to isolate the essence of what brings me joy and write songs out of that impulse. I spent time reconnecting with my childhood experience of music. Music was such a new thrilling sensation when I was three or four years old. I was so young that I couldn’t think too much about what I was hearing, I’d just feel it. Feelings are so much more complex than what the mind can perceive or conceptualize. I tried to get back to that innocent, intuitive conception of music.”
(Pedro Martins on Rádio Mistério)
True to its title, Rádio Mistério (translated in English as Mystery Radio) traverses a huge amount of musical ground. The range of Martins’ musical antennae is vast, and his fluency with the music of his youth is undeniable. He explores their intersections with an open ear and a flair for the virtuosic alongside guest appearances from some of the most gifted musicians in the world.
The opening song, “Nada Vai Ser Em Vao,” begins with an intricate guitar line that takes after Martins’ Brazilian guitar heroes, Guinga, Lula Galvão, and Toninho Horta, before morphing into technicolor pop. Elsewhere on “Amor Fantasma”, Martins’ voice levitates over a hypnotic bossa nova ballad. Legendary guitarist Eric Clapton guests on “Não Leve A Mal”, a song influenced by the music of Martins’ hometown post-punk scene. Martins says that Clapton is “a mythological figure for guitarists, and is a personal hero of mine. I wanted to get Eric to play in an environment that I’d never heard him play in before.” Martins’ close friendship with modern bass hero Thundercat led him to collaborate on Thundercat’s song “It is What It Is” in 2020. The second single from the album, “Isn’t it Strange”, was written the same night of the intimate jam that produced “It Is What It Is”. The solos on this track were recorded live in one take in Thundercat’s living room with Martins building the arrangement around Thundercat’s lyric and melody. Kurt Rosenwinkel’s solo on “Kaya Noite (Deve Ser Paixão)”, is effected into a woodwind-like fantasia and is a meditative reprieve from a soloist noted for being one of the most fleet-fingered guitarists of his generation. Omar Hakim belongs to the most demanded session drummers in the world, having played with artists like Weather Report, David Bowie, and Kate Bush. His powerful shuffle on “Liberdade” is infectious and is a dynamic highlight of the album.
The recording of Rádio Mistério happened in pieces over the last few years. Sections of Rádio Mistério were recorded on tape, others in digital studio environments, others still at Canadian indie-rock impresario Mac DeMarco’s studio in Los Angeles (bassist Daryl Johns and drummer JD BECK who appear on this album also play in DeMarco’s band, and pianist Chris Fishman is a frequent collaborator). Martins says, “Mac’s music, attitude, and sounds have been influential to me. He’s a voice of a generation that goes against the obvious and dares people to be different.”
DeMarco’s occasionally lo-fi aesthetic has helped Martins “get back in touch with an essence of music that I needed.” On Rádio Mistério, Martins’ journeys to rediscover a more authentic relationship to his own music, and the results are simply staggering. His ear for arrangement and production allows him to situate guest performers in seemingly disparate musical contexts with authenticity, and the star-studded guest list on this album is a testament to his growing renown as a bandleader, composer and producer.
“When you make music by yourself, it’s a beautiful moment of self-discovery, but when you do it with a group of people and feed off their creativity, support each other and hype each other up, and accomplish things together, that’s the most beautiful thing about music for me.”
(Pedro Martins on his relationships with his guest collaborators on Rádio Mistério)