The intuitive relationship that vocalist Katie Noonan and classical guitarist Karin Schaupp have developed together makes for some gorgeous music-making in their latest recording Songs of the Latin Skies.

Katie Noonan and Karin Schaupp. Photo: supplied

It’s their third release together, following the success of their 2012 ARIA nominated album Songs of the Southern Skies and their 2011 eight-track EP Songs from the British Isles.

Songs of the Latin Skies features 13 tracks, which pay homage to the great South American songbook of bossa nova, samba, salsa and tango by composers such as Heitor Villa-Lobos, Astor Piazzolla, Luis Bonfá, Antonio Lauro and Antônio Carlos Jobim among others.

The duo bring a fresh, distinctive, original take to the repertoire, with Noonan’s exquisite vocals soaring delicately over Schaupp’s virtuosic, equally expressive playing, as they caress the melodies to create a meltingly laid-back album with a spare, minimal beauty that would soothe the most furrowed brow.

The first track Seguranca makes for a stunning opening, with some double-tracking of Noonan’s voice creating lovely rich harmonies and showcasing her renowned vocal range from a warm bottom register to a dazzling, ethereal top.

Classic bossa nova numbers Desafinado and Wave by Jobim (who wrote The Girl from Ipanema) are given a beautiful, sensuous interpretation, while Joyce Moreno’s jaunty, playful Boiou sees Noonan singing in Spanish.

The album includes three glorious guitar solos by Schaupp including Piazzolla’s Le Meurte Del Angel, while Noonan’s vocals on Canta Mais and Villa-Lobos’s Sentimental Melody From Forest of the Amazon are so exquisitely otherworldly, it could be sacred music.

Noonan and Schaupp are a match made in musical heaven. They both consider Songs of the Latin Skies to be their best collaborative work yet, with Noonan saying that playing with Schaupp is “like floating on a gorgeous cloud”. And that’s exactly how it feels as a listener. Divine.


Songs of the Latin Skies is released by Kin Music/Universal Music Australia on February 17. Noonan and Schapp will perform the material live in intimate settings when they tour nationally from March to June, beginning in The Spiegeltent in Hobart on March 17.

Album and tour information HERE