Marcelo Frota is a Brazilian-born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known as MOMO. Frota has been a true global citizen: He has lived in Brazil, Angola, the US, Spain, and Portugal — and he currently resides in the UK.
Frota’s critically applauded debut album, 2006’s A Estética do Rabisco quickly established the Brazilian-born artist as the forefront of a new Brazilian psychedelia movement, influenced by Os Mutantes, Milton Nascimento‘s Clube Da Esquina, and Tropicália: ou Panis et Circensis. A Estética do Rabisco was also named one of Chicago Reader‘s best albums of that year.
Since then, Frota has released five more albums that have seen him build up an international profile while further developing a unique gift of reinventing classic music genres rooted in delicate melodies, earnest lyricism and dexterous acoustic guitar. The Brazilian-born, British-based artist has won the praise of music icons like David Byrne and Patti Smith. He also has contributed to a tribute compilation album for Caetano Veloso‘s 70th birthday, featuring songs performed and recorded by Devendra Banhart, Beck, Rodrigro Amarante and the aforementioned Os Mutantes. Additionally, MOMO. has toured the States, Brazil and Portugal a number of times, including a live show at David Lynch‘s Silencio Club in Paris — and an opening spot for Andrew Bird at 2016’s Misty Fest.
Frota’s sixth MOMO. album, I Was Told to Be Quiet was originally released digitally back in September 2019. The album’s material was written in Lisbon and sees the Brazilian singing lyrics in Portuguese, English, and French. The Brazilian-born artist moved into the home of Los Angeles-based producer Tom Biller for the collaborative month-long recording sessions.
Biller, who has worked with an eclectic array of artists including Elliott Smith, Fiona Apple, Sean Lennon, Karen O., and Kanye West brought a new element of creativity and contemporary production to Frota’s sound and approach that paired samples and synths with MOMO.’s love and predilection for timeless singer/songwriters and the Brazilian sounds and styles, which shaped his childhood — in particular, Bossa nova and psych folk.
To celebrate the album’s third anniversary, Yellow Racket Records will be releasing I Was Told to Be Quiet on vinyl for the first time ever on October 28, 2022. But along with the vinyl release announcement, the Brazilian-born, British-based artist shared album single “Diz a verdade,” a subtly modern take on Bossa nova that pairs Frota’s achingly plaintive yet breezy delivery with strummed acoustic guitar, twinkling synths, Brazilian percussion and layered ahhs. And while being a remarkably slick synthesis of deliberate craftsmanship and electronic production, “Diz a verdade” is rooted in heartbreak, regret and the hope for a better day.
The accompanying video for “Diz a verdade” stars MOMO. and his young dopplegänger Meie Castanho on a rooftop full of bric-a-brac and signifiers of childhood — an enormous teddy bear, a rocking horse and the like. The video is charming yet full of heartbreak over the things we can’t get back.