Cassiano: Onda
From 12″ (Polydor, 1977)

The 2010 edition of the Soul Sides Summer Songs series has a few small changes. For one, the archive has been moved over to Word Press. Secondly, I’m going to post all summer song posts to our main site (here) but still archive everything at its dedicated site.

Most importantly, for at least this year, I’ve asked contributors to write about just one song. For some naive reason, I thought this would make it easier but it’s actually been quite a challenge from folks to limit their musings about summer to just one song. But personally, I like having that kind of framework/limitation. It forces you to be precise (at least in theory).

As the editor…I’m going to cheat though, allowing myself at least a few entries throughout the summer (though again, I’ll only post about a song at a time), beginning with this one…

I’ve actually been waiting a couple of months to write about this song – I got the 12″ back in March but held off until now because I knew I wanted it to be the first summer song I wrote about.

Cassiano was a major figure in the Brazilian soul movements of the 1970s – apparently a contemporary of folks like Tim Maia, Hyldon, Ivan Lins, etc. The folks at Soul Strut were the one who put me up on “Onda” and from the moment I heard it, it absolutely nailed this slow, perfect groove that sounds like a quintissential summer song with its breezy sway and liquid feel.

The fact that the song mostly repeats the hook, over and over, works to its advantage: it takes you out of the routine elements of the day and envelopes you in this mantra that subtly unwinds and relaxes. Hell, I don’t even quite know what they’re saying but I’m assuming it’s nothing urgent. What better way to kick off the summer then to put this on constant rotation and let the season wash over you?

With that, Summer Songs 2010 is officially on. We already have a nice line-up of guest writers lined up; just keep it locked here until the autumn closes us down.