BioHave you ever experienced the transcendental sensation of being in more than one place at the same time? Are you in Trinidad or Tokyo? Manhattan or Milan? Brazil or the Bahamas? That is precisely the type of vibrant feeling that animates the twelve tracks of the Brazilian Girls' self-titled debut on Verve Forecast.
The four members of Brazilian Girls met in 2003, while jamming together at Nublu, a downtown New York club that has served as their spawning ground. Playing together every week (they still do, when they're in town) they wrote and recorded the twelve originals of Brazilian Girls over a couple of months, letting the nuances of their songs evolve over time.
"Being able to play consistently at Nublu and jumping into the studio every few months helped keep the vibe organic and fresh," says drummer Aaron Johnston.
"It’s a collective." explains Didi of their home base. "A community, in which musicians, DJs, poets, painters and bonvivants exchange ideas. At Nublu we were able to freely experiment with the music, without restrictions and expectations. That’s what made the songs unfold."
One of Brazilian Girls' songs, "Homme," first appeared on the 2003 CD Waxpoetic/Nublu Sessions, while another cut, "Lazy Lover' is featured on the Ultra compilation Music to Make Love By, and has been remixed by both Matthew Herbert and Brazilian Girls for release as club singles.
Coming from different corners of the globe (Sabina was born in Rome, and raised in Munich and Nice; Didi from Buenos Aires, Argentina; Jesse and Aaron from California and Kansas, respectively), each member of Brazilian Girls has an impressive past of prior works. One snagged a Latin Grammy® Award; another has scored several important independent films. They have all performed and collaborated with prominent artists (but we'll leave those details to the music history books).
"We're a real band " whispers Aaron emphatically. "Every member is essential, and we share everything equally."
Visually, Sabina pushes the ensemble to a new level. "There’s an element of suspense about how she presents herself," observes Jesse. Like Grace Jones and Björk, she's committed to making a bold visual statement. Sabina: "For me, life is …." "We like the surrealist approach," interrupts Jesse. Enough said.
Sabina sings in five different languages: German, French, Italian, Spanish, and English. Take "Die Gedanken Sind Frei (Thoughts Are Free)." "We had already recorded the music," recalls Sabina, "but I didn't know what the lyrics would be. So while we were recording, I just sang syllables, and they all ended on 'aye.' The language that felt closest to that was German. Later I happened to find out that there was a German farmer revolution song from the 13th century with the same title, and the lyrics fit perfectly."