Genres: World
Decades: 1980s 1990s 2000s


Formed in the mid-80s this Portuguese unit combines the voice of Teresa Salgueiro with the lyrics of Pedro Ayres Magalhães (guitar) and minimalist backing from a series of collaborators/band members including José Peixoto (guitar), Francisco Ribeiro (cello/violin), Gabriel Gomes (harmonica), Rodrigo Leão (keyboards), Carlos Maria Trindade (keyboards), Antonio Vitorino de Almeida (piano), and Fernando Judice (guitar). Madredeus draw on the Portuguese state of saudade that translates approximately as a sense of loss and longing but also beauty, a melancholic feeling for something that is missed or unattainable as the main emotion echoed and evoked in their beguiling neo-folk music. With a name translating as ‘Mother God’ and apparently derived from the Madre de Deus, a church the band performed in, Madredeus create a rich and soulful music that is steeped in fado traditions but also looks to non-traditional melodies. In their English...

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