The Lisbon-based producer Branko released a gleaming, propulsive single titled “Hear From You” this week. The track will appear on his forthcoming album Nosso.
“Hear From You” is a country-hopping hybrid: Sango, an American beat-maker known for placements on albums from Tinashe, Bryson Tiller and Smino, is a co-producer, and Cosima, a singer based in London, is responsible for some of the vocals.
Branko and Sango stitch together syncopated hand-claps, jabbing synths, darting bass and a squeaky, squiggly hook that races ahead of the drums. There is loneliness and frustration here — “I just wanna hear from you/Ask me questions;” “Don’t be polite, I want it all” — but the angst is smoothed over by the pretty, driving beat.
Branko and Sango initially connected through their mutual love of Brazilian music. Branko routinely works with genres from around the Portuguese-speaking world; Sango has released three albums in a series titled Da Rocinha that is inspired by tunes from Brazil. “We’ve got a lot of mutual friends in São Paolo,” Branko explains. “Sango visited Lisbon a couple times, one time for a stage I was curating at a festival. We’ve just been exchanging music and words ever since. At one point, he sent me an original idea — we’d been talking about doing something for ages, but sometimes you need that initial click. When he sent me this idea I said, ‘ok, I think this is the one.'”
For Branko, “Hear From You” “explains a lot of things” about Nosso. “Even if I’m recording with a Congolese-Canadian vocalist, I used the sound of Lisbon as the starting point for all the songs on the album,” he says. “That’s through the instrumentals and beats: Every one of those is originally from a genre in the Portuguese-speaking universe.”
Nosso is out March 1 through Branko’s label, Enchufada. The producer’s last solo album, Atlas, came out in 2015.