On January 31, 2020, Nik Freitas releases his ninth album under his own name, Cavalo Morto, via Park The Van. The title means “dead horse” in Portuguese and the album’s gloomy cover art depicts a weathered pianist chugging along at his craft while horses fall from the top of the instrument. It’s a reference to the inescapable mundanity of being a professional artist, a glamorized yet often under appreciated vocation that can wear on a person’s soul if they do it long enough. Although the dead horse is sort of a metaphor for Freitas’ lifelong struggle to be heralded for his own art, there’s a healthy dose of irony in that sentiment. Cavalo Morto is an invigorating set of songs that conflate the classic pop songwriting of Dylan, Bowie, and Elliott Smith with Freitas’ own hermetic twist.
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