Bruno Berle – “No Reino Dos Afetos 2”

“In The Realm Of Affections” is the translation for “No Reino Dos Afetos”, the title of Brazilian singer and poet Bruno Berle‘s debut album which came out in 2022 on Far Out Recordings. Several tracks from that album, like “Até Meu Violão” or “Quero Dizer”, are still in heavy rotation on the playlist in Gina’s household. “No Reino Dos Afetos 2” came out a couple of weeks ago and since then, not a day went by without listening to this 30-minute masterpiece. The first single “Tirolirole” already came out in November of last year and it was an instant classic. The song about temporary love probably best describes his music: it’s like a mixture of traditional Brazilian folk mixed in with synths, keys, lo-fi and electronics culminating in a highly unique sound and expression with his angel-like voice floating over the timelessly beautiful melody. Really dig the long instrumental ending. Brilliant! Most of the synths and electronics and samplers on the album are played by his longtime friend and musical partner Batata Boy who strongly permeates the second single “Dizer Adeus”, where Bruno uses autotune which I usually can’t deal with, but in this case it only adds to the nostalgic, melancholy atmosphere of the song.

Bruno Berle "No Reino Dos Afetos 2"

Bruno, who now lives in São Paulo, also adds a short instrumental track here. “Sonho”, clocking in at just 1:29 minutes, has this mesmerizing guitar/atabaque combination which is both haunting and gorgeous. I really like the trip-hop meets dub style of “New Hit” which also boasts with a joyous voice chorus by Marina Nemesio and Manda Conti. It’s pretty compelling and on the spot. Bruno Di Lullo (bass) and Domenico Lancellotti (drums) wrote the very quirky and lively “Margem Do Céu” which gets a pretty hilarious ending here, segueing into the instrumental “Sonho”, making it feel like you’re on this wonderful trip. Great keys by Danilo Andrade. Bruno is back on autotune on “Acorda E Vem”, another melancholic love song which is both dark and cozy at the same time. Really like the line where he sings “É tão difícil imaginar o mundo antes de ouvir seu coração”.

There are three absolutely outstanding highlights here: the minimalist approach on the blissful ballad “É Só Você Chegar”, with its flute and piano conversation, makes this a simply heartbreaking, truly wonderful love song. Bruno also revisits “Love Comes Back”, written by the American cellist, composer, and artist Arthur Russell who died much too soon of AIDS-related illnesses at age 40. First time singing in English, he puts as much intimacy, restraint, and poignancy into the song as needed. Berle, who “aims to provide an entrypoint for Black queer joy in his music, in his storytelling, in his presence and vision as a creative”, comes across fundamentally fragile when he sings “Love is back/Being sad is not a crime/Once you know that Love is back/So put your little hand in mine/Love comes back”. Oh and the album opener, “Te Amar Eterno” (“Loving You Eternally”), written by João Menezes, is beauty in perfection with Bruno’s fascinatingly soaring voice reassuring us that there is still hope. The album is also available on vinyl.

Don’t miss Bruno Berle on his upcoming 9-city tour throughout Europe:

05/02 Munich – Bellevue di Monaco
05/04 Cologne – Eigelsteintorburg
05/05 Rotterdam – V11
05/08 Hamburg – Knust
05/10 Krakow – Paul’s Boutique Record Store
05/15 Utrecht – Tivoli Pandora
05/16 Berlin – Startbahn Church
05/18 Barcelona – L’occulta
05/22 Lisbon – A Sala Lisa


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