2017 repress. Pitchfork: 8.4 — Best New Music. Septuagenarian Brazilian music icon Elza Soares teams up with the cream of São Paulo’s avant-garde musicians for an album of apocalyptic, experimental samba sujo (“dirty samba”) that tackles the burning issues of 21st century Brazil: racism, domestic violence, sex, drug addiction and global warming. The Woman at the end of the World is Elza’s 34th studio album and her first to feature previously unrecorded material, exclusively composed for her. Voted “Best Album of 2015” by Rolling Stone Brazil after its domestic release, it will now be released worldwide by UK based label Mais Um Discos. Over a sprawl of distorted guitars, squalling horn, taught strings and electronic shards, samba is savaged by rock ‘n’ roll, free jazz, noise and other experimental music forms. A true legend of Brazilian music Elza has an incredible musical oeuvre that stretches back over seven decades mixing samba with jazz, soul, funk, hip hop and electronica, whilst her life story is a rags- to-riches-to-rags rollercoaster of triumphs and tragedies that has made her a voice for Brazil’s repressed female, black, gay and working class populations. Her music career began in the late 1950s as she sung in clubs and hotels, sometimes being forced to perform off stage because of her skin color. The ’60s was a career defining period with a run of classic albums for Odeon. After decades of hardships and artistic exploration, her latest muse is São Paulo’s hyped samba sujo scene. Soares presents an album that walks a tightrope between post-rock and post-samba. “I knew this album would be a bold, modern sound” she says. “These songs are tense they do not allow you to relax”. The album opens with “Coracão do Mar (Heart of the Sea)” with Elza reciting a poem from celebrated Brazilian modernist poet Oswald de Andrade. Title track “Mulher do fim do Mundo” uses carnival as a metaphor for the apocalypse and according to composer Romulo Froes “translates Elza’s strength and indestructability”. With The Woman at the End of the World, Elza forces the joy and sadness that personifies samba to confront the dirty truths of modern day São Paulo.