Austin world folk fusion group, Ley Line, is proud to announce their new single “Ciranda” which was released on June 12, 2020. The new release is the latest single from their highly anticipated album We Saw Blue, due out in the Fall of 2020. This follows recent singles “Slow Down” and “Oxum,” which have garnered praise from Billboard, Atwood, PopMat
“Ciranda” is stunning song with an amazing story about how it came onto Ley Line’s radar and the journey to connect with the original songwriter. The full story is revealed in detail on an upcoming podcast episode of “Following Ley Line” that is a Patreon exclusive.
The name “Ciranda” comes from a style of music that originated on the beaches of Northeastern Brazil. This music, composed by fishermen and their wives, often speaks of their spiritual connection to the ocean and the powerful relationship that the community has with it. A traditional Ciranda is typically a choral arrangement accompanied by a bass drum and a circle dance in which participants hold hands and slowly rotate around. This particular song was written by a man who went by the name Capiba. He wrote the song “Ciranda e Frevo” about the nearby beach called “Praia do Janga.” The lyrics of the song speak to the strong cultural presence of Orixás, the many afro-Brazilian deities that typically represent different aspects of the natural world. This song in particular refers to Yemanjá, the goddess of the ocean. It tells the story of looking out to the ocean and mistaking a fish for the goddess dancing on top of the water. Emilie Basez explains, “In an effort to share this beautiful tradition with our audiences here in the United States and beyond, we decided to call the song “Ciranda,” which actually refers to the tradition itself.”
The way it became a part of Ley Line’s set list and on the album goes even deeper. Emilie learned the song in 2013 after returning from her first trip through Brazil with bandmate Kate. The song became a staple of their live performance and Maddy added poetry in English, giving the song a unique sound and opening it up to a wider audience to connect with. The band states, “The song lyrics create a link between Brazil and the Unites States, between our stories and the stories of the original songwriter 50 years ago.”
This story takes another beautiful turn. In 2014, Emilie was visiting “Praia do Janga,” in Northeast Brazil, which is the actual beach referred to in the song. The present day beach was much different than she expected, overrun by loud music blaring from cars. While drinking a coconut on the beach, a man approached her and noticed she had a ukulele. He excitedly requested that she play something, and so of course she played the tune. He began jumping up and down in excitement, saying that his neighbour is the widow of the composer of the song and invited her to come meet “Dona Zezita.” Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to visit the songwriter’s widow. But years later when the band decided to record the track, Emilie wanted to get permission to record the song. A beautiful journey led her back to Dona Zezita, and a sweet connection with the roots of the song that Ley Line refers to as “Ciranda.”
From there, Ley Line went into the studio with Michael Ramos at Brown Recluse to record the song. Ramos, who was connected to them via Black Fret, engineered the session with Moses Elias (GRAMMY Nominee) producing the track that is ready for release on June 12th via their new distribution partner ONErpm.
Lydia concludes, “This single has a particularly interesting story as we went on quite a hunt to find the original writer and make sure we had the go ahead to record it on our album. This story will be shared in an upcoming episode of our podcast, ‘Following Ley Line’ and we hope you will become a member of our Patreon in order to hear this story and many others that give insights into our songs and what inspired the music we make together.”