Kurt Vile guitarist Steve Gunn teams up with folk legend Mike Cooper on the latest in RVNG's collaborative series
RVNG Intl.'s FRKWYS – the fantastic record series which couples contemporary musicians with their established influences – sees its eleventh release on June 24. Cantos de Lisboa is a collaboration between solo artist and sometimes Kurt Vile and the Violators guitarist Steve Gunn, and esteemed British experimental singer-songwriter Mike Cooper. Despite its title (which derives from its location of recording), Cantos de Lisboa's roots lie in American folk and blues music – the luscious acoustic work of artists like Ry Cooder, as well as more recent releases from the likes of Six Organs of Admittance, spring to mind throughout the album’s duration. Instrumental lead track, "Saudade do Santos-o-Velho", particularly bears these influences through Gunn and Cooper’s crisp, dextrous fingerpicking and understated production. It’s not all sweet melodies and delicate instrumentation though. "Song for Charlie", for instance, is a dissonant piece of sonic experimentation suspended between distorted drones and squeaking string noise. It's impossibly tumultuous when compared to "Saudade...", but in a strange way just as beautiful.
Photography by Luis Martins