badi assad

After a neurological disorder nearly ended her career, the Brazilian nylon-string and vocal virtuoso storms back with an album covering everything from Mumford & Sons to Lorde and Skrillex.

Pop music can be hit or miss these days. Badi Assad (pronounced bah-gee ah-sah-j) wholeheartedly agrees, yet she hasn’t lost all faith in the idiom. On her latest album, Hatched, the Brazilian-born nylon-string guitarist known for her adventurousness—including pairing classical guitar vocabularies with “prepared guitar” techniques like placing drumsticks under the strings for unconventional timbres—uses her guitar and lovely singing voice to reimagine recent tunes that she finds especially meaningful. This includes songs by Mumford & Sons, Lorde, and Skrillex. Assad even tackles “The Hanging Tree” from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 soundtrack, as well as three of her own compositions. The nine-song release is Assad’s third album on her own Quatro Ventos label.

“When you choose a song [to cover], you have to agree with what it’s saying. It has to be true for you,” explains Assad. While the original vocal melodies and lyrics for the selection of tunes on Hatched remain intact, the music underpinning them has been skillfully reengineered.

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