Picture Bermuda meeting New York City. Although it’s an overwhelming mix, the Brazilian Girls manage to weave in the essences of both atmospheres. The band will make its debut in Ann Arbor as they take the stage of The Blind Pig tonight at 10 p.m.
The band has been touring in support of their new release Talk to La Bomb, and before the band’s stop in Ann Arbor, Washington D.C, Chicago and Minneapolis will have already savored the taste of the Brazilian Girls. The Brazilian Girls’ musical flavor is melded into electronica, pop, rock, reggae and jazz.
“It’s eclectic, all of the above,” bassist Jesse Murphy said.
The romantic mysticism and lulling quality reminiscent of early Blondie is striking when it contrasts with the edgy and exotic nature familiar to the alternative rock band Garbage. This retro-to-modern quality shows this is a band capable of maintaining a contemporary relevance amid a swirling indie scene.
Talk to La Bomb is an appropriate sequel to their first self-titled album because it continues making creative and raw sounds committed to communicating with a diverse audience, only this time it takes sexy to a higher level. The fusion of electronic beats mixed in with the pulsating rhythm of their voices creates a desperate need for dancing .
The poetic characteristics of anaphora and imagery featured in the Brazilian Girls’ songs are especially noticeable in “Me Gustas Cuando Callas,” based on a poem by Pablo Neruda.
“Sometimes it’s extremely temporal, sometimes it’s some kind of regression or an older experience,” Murphy said. “Some come from breakups, sudden epiphanies – its really a mix.”
The band members’ backgrounds are equally as eclectic as their music. Lead vocalist Sabina Sciubba, born in Rome and raised in Munich, sings in English in addition to four other languages. Bassist Jesse Murphy, keyboardist Didi Gutman and drummer Aaron Johnston all contribute to the band’s distinct sound through their backing vocals. Murphy and Johnston are from California and Kansas, respectively. Gutman is a Buenos Aires native. It was New York’s explosive music scene that brought the multicultural foursome together in 2002.
Nublu, a club known for an atmosphere where other musicians, designers and writers thrive, became the band’s home.
“The band came together really effortlessly and quickly,” Murphy said.
When not on tour, the band plays often at Nublu with Wax Poetic and Suite, from whom much of their creative inspiration springs. According to Murphy, the idea of their name was hatched at Nublu, where an actual Brazilian band played and where Brazilian girls began coming to their shows.
Whether it’s in English, Spanish, French, German or Italian, their music has something for everyone. And don’t worry about knowing all of the languages. Commenting on their song “Sexy Asshole,” Murphy admitted that even he hasn’t fully translated the German lyrics.
“Maybe its about Sabina’s father,” Murphy jokingly said.
“Maybe it’s even about my father,” he laughed. “Sometimes the most important thing is to not understand it and get lost in the music. It’s certainly easy to appreciate music whether you understand the words or not.”
The Brazilian Girls prove that doing so is possible even when songs break the norm by using nonsensical words. According to Murphy, the song “Jique” “is this thing you always want and think it’s going to totally satisfy you, and it does for a second and then it goes away.” It may be an invented word, but it’s certainly real to the Brazilian Girls. The band gives more credit to the sound of their music rather than the degree of reality it possesses.
Some songs may take less time to decipher, and in the case of “Pussy” won’t take any need to decipher at all. Murphy claims that the song was written in two minutes and the chorus “Pussy Pussy Pussy Marijuana” was inspired by two obvious things.
Concertgoers can expect improvisation outside of their usual repertoire. If it’s not Sciubba’s glittery eye-masks or dark veils (worn to maintain a sense of mystery), then it’s the band’s eccentric nature to be most comfortable when the audience members take off their clothes.
So what makes the Brazilian Girls the Brazilian Girls?
The title of the band isn’t important. At the end of the day, no one cares if any of the members are Brazilian and only one of them is a girl, what matters most is that you appreciate the music for what it is, if not in five different languages, then at least in one that you most identify with.
Tonight at 10 p.m.
At The Blind Pig