Even set against the backdrop of a propped up mattress, Só Sol is elegant.
On a Tuesday in September, the multilingual folk outfit play the intermezzo for a showcase of spoken word poets at the Whitehaus, where the bedding serves as soundproofing between the festivities and the quiet Jamaica Plain street. The crowd sits on couches, stools, and crossed-legged on the floor, watching as Jessica DaSilva, John Garrett, Sonny Jim Clifford and Zach Bridges gather their instruments (banjo, guitar, harmonica, and upright bass, respectively) before DaSilva chirps the first lyric of “Valsa Do Corpo,” which translates to “Waltz of the Body.” The translation isn’t really necessary, though. Whether or not you understand Portuguese, her voice is an alluring instrument in itself; flirtatious and poetic in melody alone, and perfectly complimented by gentle strumming and fingerpicking.
Her talents seem even more impressive when you learn DaSilva didn’t sing until the inception of Só Sol (Only Sun, if you were curious), when the group started as a duo. High school friends, DaSilva and Garrett reunited in Providence five years ago, where DaSilva was a student at RISD and Garrett was touring with Vermont based band, Pariah Beat. Days after becoming a couple, they started making music together. The first song they performed — at a local open mic night — was a cover of a Brazilian lullaby her father used to sing to her. Soon after, she was taking notes from Garrett on writing lyrics.“I was afraid whatever lyrics I would come up with might fall short,” DaSilva explains, “but I have this tool of knowing another language, so I just started there.”
Since then, the pair have married, relocated to Somerville, and successfully completed a Kickstarter (they raised $3,500, $1,500 more than their goal) to fund their first full-length which will be released mid-November. Utilizing both English and Portuguese languages, and drawing on old soul, Tropicália, blue grass, rock ‘n’ roll, and a smattering of other genres, the upcoming album is the work of a sextet rather than a quartet, with the addition of Chris Eddleston (drums/percussion) and Nick Heys (accordion). And while “Valso Do Corpo” was featured on the previous recording, Brevemente, it will also be on the new LP, transformed by the fuller group sound. Ahead of the release, Só Sol will flaunt their sound at TT The Bear’s this Wednesday … and later this month, they’ll reprise their stance in front of the Haus’ multipurpose mattress.
SÓ SOL (UP FIRST) W/ THICK WILD + AVI JACOB + IMMIGRANT UNION. TT THE BEAR’S, 10 BROOKLINE ST., CAMBRIDGE. WED 10.8. 8PM/18+/$8. SOSOLBAND.CAMP.COM
SÓ SOL W/ DOTT + TELLAVISION. SUN 10.19, 9PM AT WHITEHAUS. ASK A HUMAN FOR THE ADDRESS.