By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Performing under the stage name Cat Power as she has for almost two decades, American singer-songwriter Chan Marshall returns to Rio with a new sound and a new look on Saturday, May 18th. She will play at Lapa’s Circo Voador where she last performed almost three years ago to the day on 2010.
Marshall is known for weaving together her personal experiences in circuitous lyrics and delivering her stories with slightly textured bluesy vocals. Her slow, drawl-like delivery, combined with her ever-evolving arrangements have earned her a faithful following during her career.
Currently on tour in support of her ninth and arguably most upbeat album, Sun, Marshall will be in Brazil for three shows with Rio as the first stop. Next she will go on to Recife’s Catamarã on the 19th and finally to São Paulo’s Cine Joia on Tuesday the 21st.
Marshall first played in Brazil at São Paulo’s SESC Vila Mariana in 2001 and she has returned to the country several times since including a 2009 show at São Paulo’s Via Funchal.
“Agile, confident and extremely friendly, Cat Power, as she is known, dominated all spaces, cracks and willing minds there for almost two hours of presentation,” reads the Brazilain blog, Untuned’s review of the show. “She filled everything with that voice that I do not know where it comes from, and with the great help of The Dirty Delta Blues band.”
During this tour Marshall will bring with her a body of work that encompasses over seventeen years and includes everything from minimalist indie sounds, to creative covers, to electronic elements. The electronic additions are part of a new sonic evolution that appeared with the release of 2012’s Sun, an album that she wrote, performed, recorded, and produced entirely on her own.
Sun is also the first album release of completely original material from the singer-songwriter in six years. Proceeding Sun, Marshall released Jukebox in 2008. It was the second of two albums consisting of mostly covers. Her first cover album, The Covers Record was released earlier in 2000 and included a haunting version of the Velvet Underground’s “I Found A Reason” in which Marshall changed several lyrics.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. in 1972, the singer got her stage name from her first band. Marshall, the story goes, often wore a Caterpillar trucker cap with the words: “Cat Diesel Power” on it and when it was time to choose the band’s name, “Diesel” was dropped. When the band later dissolved Marshall went on to work under the name Cat Power as a solo act.
At the age of twenty, Marshall moved to New York City. There she was discovered by Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley while opening for indie musician Liz Phair in 1994. She recorded two albums; Dear Sir and Myra Lee before signing in 1996 with Matador Records, the label she has remained with since.
Her first Matador release, What Would the Community Think came out in 1996 but it was the release of Moon Pix in 1998 that some consider the benchmark in her career. In 2003 You Are Free was her first album to chart on the the Billboard 200 and 2006’s The Greatest, was her most successful album debuting on the Billboard 200 at number 34.
The highly anticipated Sun was released in September 2012 and although its sounds are a change for Marshall it has been well-received by critics. The eleven track album includes the songs “Ruin,” “Cherokee,” “Manhattan,” and “Nothin’ But Time” featuring the iconic Iggy Pop.
Doors will open at Circo Voador at 10PM.