I have never called an album a ticklish delight, but damn it, that is exactly what Brazilian Girls is. It’s just good dance music. No saccharine, no filler; it just moves you. Didi Gutman on keyboards, Jesse Murphy on Bass, Aaron Johnston on drums, and lead vocalist Sabina Sciubba comprise the band known as Brazilian Girls. Is it hip-hop? No, not exactly. It’s a fusion of jazz, electronica, Bossa Nova, and other musical influences that defy easy categorization. You probably didn’t catch their single, “Don’t stop,” on the radio. Guess what? I didn't either. It’s only after browsing on other websites I was able to find Brazilian Girls’ self-titled album. The only thing required to enjoy this musical gem is an open mind.
What does Brazilian Girls sound like? Just picture Sade’s voice over thumping dance beats. Sabina’s voice is ethereal and patient, never overstretching its boundaries. In the midst of flourishing bass lines, strings, drums, and keyboards, Sabina’s lyrics take center stage, pulling you in with just the right details. The lead single, “Don’t Stop,” is catchy as hell, and Sabina’s lyrics tread that line between being playful and suggestive:
Don’t stop, don’t stop now/ just keep on goin’/ until I come/ until I come in.
You can play this song any time of the day, morning, noon, or night, and you will be on the dance floor (I haven’t been able to get this song out of my head for days). In “Lazy Lover,” Sabina sings just what the title implies: Lazy lover/ Casanova/ You roll over/ when I want more . . . . If you read these words to yourself, they are kind of funny. I guess it’s the old joke about the man being short (sorry, I couldn’t avoid the puns even if I tried) on stamina. Still, though, when you hear her sing it, it sounds beautiful, and well, serious. Like damn, being a lazy lover is a serious problem. And if you aren’t dancing, then it’s probably you she’s singing about. Moving on . . . .
Another song I’m really feeling is “Corner Store.” Rumbling bass lines, soaring trumpets, and marching drums create a dreamy atmosphere. Don’t ask me what the song is about though, because after numerous listens, I’m still stumped:
Outside the corner, a different world/ conversation overheard, ohh/ between a man and a saxophone/ saxophone amidst a drunken stone, ohh…
I like the dreamy tone, though. I have a deep respect for writers who are able to pull you in with their words, and Brazilian Girls is no exception to this rule.
Brazilian Girls also show their versatility, in songs like, “L’homme,” “Die Gedanken Sind Frei (Thoughts are Free),” which are sung in French and German respectively. But by far one of the catchiest and hilarious songs on the album is “Pussy.” Yeah, I know, I know. You’re thinking this is another misogynistic song. But under the fervor of Sabina’s voice, you can’t help but laugh when she sings, “Pussy, pussy, pussy, marijuanaaaaa . . . .” When you first hear the song, you’ll go, “What is she doing?” But like the rest of the album, you’ll be dancing along, humming the song in public (In my case, this was very sad). Is it raunchy? Maybe. Fun? Oh, hell yes.
Even as the album draws to a close with “Ships In the Night,” you’ll be grinning from cheek to cheek. That is, if you don’t fight it. And at this point, resistance is futile. If you’re smart, you’ll do like the band says: dance till the morning sun.