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Roy Ge Mendes: Lagoa

Music from Cape Verde, the small island chain off of West Africa, has made its way into the western sphere, thanks largely to the popularity of Cesaria Evora. Boy Ge Mendes, another noted singer from the island, is making his way to a wider global audience, and his new album Lagoa (Tinder 4242855502; 53:18) is a musky, undulating beauty. Born Gerard Mendes in Senegal in 1952, he took on his boyhood nickname after scoring a success with his tune “Grito de Bo Fidge.” A boyish charm and bittersweet melodicism rings true on his new song set, based on his understated vocal style, nylon-stringed acoustic guitar parts, gently colored by percussion and swatches of accordion and violin. It’s a calmly beguiling album, at once cool in conception and warm in spirit, true to the Cape Verdean vibe as we’re coming to know it.

Originally Published