Wallace Costa - Crossing Fields

Crossing Fields, Wallace Costa
Transfusão Noise Records, Brazil
Rating: 63
By Carlos Reyes

For some reason, most international debuts self-classified as indie-folk performers fail to realize they’re doing country music with minimal adjustments. Folk music is too difficult to translate; it requires the contribution from its locality as well as its language. We can add Wallace Costa to the list of global-aspiring artists making a form of left-hand folk that’s also a romanticized rendition of their local ‘sound.’ Luckily, Costa is conscious of what’s he’s doing beyond the personal artistry, he is literally crossing the fields of music, in solitude.

The album’s opener “My Charm” is intuitive to the global blue-collar worker, but it’s also, a song for the suburbs. You can pretty much feel Beck, Sufjan Stevens and The Strokes on the plucked strings, except we’re dealing with an album built around low-fi (a lot of its charm comes from its working conditions). Throughout the album, he unveils good tunes, but not a whole lot of emotional discharge in the lyrics, “Nothing is wrong, except myself” just doesn’t do it. Like Suave As Hell or Francois Peglau, Costa’s wording in English is messy and hard to deliver (and its not on its grammar). He includes three songs in Portuguese, perhaps the peak moments on the album (especially the raspy “Notas”). On the surface, Costa is like your local downtown artwalk aficionado, at least in spirit, but look down deeper and you’ll find a concise beauty in the sturdy cords, the melodic swells and shimmering coming-of-age themes. Crossing Fields is uneven, but Costa is definitely into something.