By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Currently touring South America in support of her most recent album, What We Saw from the Cheap Sets, singer-songwriter Regina Spektor will debut at Barra da Tijuca’s Citibank Hall on Thursday, April 11th. Spektor was last in Brazil in 2010 as part of São Paulo’s SWU Festival but this week’s show will mark the first performance by the unique musician in Rio.
“I am coming back to Brazil – this time with my own shows!” Spektor posted on her Facebook page on January 23rd, shortly after the South American tour dates were announced. She added, “Wednesday April 10th in Credicard Hall, São Paulo, and Thursday April 11th at Citibank Hall, Rio! (it will be my first time in Rio – I can’t wait!!!).”
Often referred to as quirky, the Moscow-born pianist is best known for her unconventional song structures which are full of lyrical and musical flourishes. With her unmistakable vocals, at times Spektor alternates between flawlessly belting out parts of sweeping melodies to vocalizing playfully.
“I love making noises,” Spektor told Spin’s William Goodman in a 2009 interview, “It comes out of the fact that when I started writing songs, I loved Radiohead, Tom Waits, and the Beatles, and they all have these sounds, these clangs. But in my early stuff, and especially my performances, it was really limited to just me and a piano. I have this natural desire to just climb out of my skin and become five people making noises, orchestrating all these parts together.”
Raised in the Bronx, NY where her family moved when she was nine years old, Spektor was known among her friends and family for spontaneously making up songs. A classically trained pianist off and on throughout her youth, Spektor began to gravitate towards the East Village based anti-folk music scene during her teens and early twenties.
Playing in bars and clubs, Spektor honed her combinations of free form jazz stylings with pop indie melodies and began to grow a fan base.
In 2001 she self-released her first album entitled, 11:11. Her second album, Songs, followed shortly after on Christmas Day 2001. Both releases were very intimate, low-fi production CDs that were sold during her live shows.
In 2004 Spektor began to receive wider recognition with her major label debut, Soviet Kitsch. The song, “Us” was the first single released to have an accompanying music video.
Spektor’s next album, 2006’s Begin to Hope, debuted 70th on the Billboard top 200 charts. After the first single, “Fidelity”, was released the album rocketed its way up the charts. At one point, U.S. Billboard declared the album a “Top Heatseeker”.
The production value of Spektor’s music also grew and was evident on the 2009 release of her fifth album, Far. “I was first introduced to Regina’s music four years ago. I saw her in North Carolina during the Far tour,” Carioca fan, Andrea Gomes told The Rio Times.
“Her quirkiness has a playful innocence to it but underneath you can also hear an intellectual maturity. She makes popular culture references and allusions to classic literature in the same songs. That’s like a new level of millennial brilliance. It’s fun, lacks an attention span but it’s serious too,” describes Gomes.
Spektor’s sixth album, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats was released in May, 2012 and debuted on the U.S. Billboard charts at number three. It features the singles, “All the Rowboats” and the ballad, “How”. “As Spektor matures, her sound does too,” added Gomes. “Now is a great time to see her live I think.”
What: Regina Spektor with special guest Only Son
Where: Citibank Hall, Av. Ayrton Senna, 3000 – Barra da Tijuca
When: Thursday, April 11th 9:30 PM
Price: From R$60 to R$350 – tickets are available here.