Brazilian Girls return in 2018 with Let’s Make Love, their first album since the 2008 Grammy-nominated New York City. Formed in 2003, the group—Sabina Sciubba (lead vocals, electronics), Jesse Murphy (bass, vocals), Didi Gutman (keyboards, vocals), Aaron Johnston (drums, percussion, vocals)—was born after the four members crossed paths at East Village club Nublu. “Somehow we all ended up at Nublu on a Sunday, and Ilhan (Ersahin, the club’s founder) suggested we play together,” says Johnston. The band began playing Nublu weekly, embracing a free-form ethos that helped shape their kaleidoscopic sound. “A lot of the spirit of the band comes from being so open to improvise like that,” says Murphy. Fast earning attention for their euphoric live show—and winning fans like Zach Galifianakis, who later cast Sciubba as a regular on Baskets—Brazilian Girls released their self-titled debut in 2005 and sophomore album Talk to La Bomb in 2006.
Produced by longtime Brazilian Girls collaborator Frederik Rubens, Let’s Make Love came to life over the course of several years. Since they’re now scattered throughout the U.S. and Europe, the four band members assembled when possible to write and record, piggybacking those sessions onto gigs in Istanbul and Madrid and Paris and New York. Despite the distance, Brazilian Girls consistently found their chemistry as kinetic as when they first started out. “It’s a little astounding to us because we’ll go so long without playing, and then we get together and things just happen in this very harmonious way,” says Sciubba.
Brazilian Girls bring a woozy romanticism to many tracks on Let’s Make Love. Opening the album with lead single “Pirates,” Sciubba notes of the modern-age new wave love song, “It’s a song about how we should all sleep more and sleep more together. It would change everything. Actually that's what the whole record is about. It may even be the true meaning of life." The album gets its title from a glorious anthem at the heart of the album. Like much of their latest record, the frenetic yet ethereal “Let’s Make Love” takes a more classically arranged form than the band’s earlier work. At the same time, both album and title track embody the quintessential spirit of Brazilian Girls: their strange balance of wildness and elegance, cheeky humor and fractured poetry, soulful mystique and libertine wisdom. “Right now ‘Let’s Make Love’ seems like a very good message to put into the world,” says Sciubba of the song’s inspiration. “It’s not even ‘Make love, not war’—it’s just ‘Make love,’ and nothing else.”
Violinist and vocalist, Sudan Archives writes, plays, and produces her own music. Drawing inspiration from Sudanese fiddlers, she is self-taught on the violin, and her unique songs also fold in elements of R&B, and experimental electronic music.
Sudan Archives grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she "messed around with instruments in the house" and took up violin in the fourth grade, eventually teaching herself how to play the instrument by ear. When she discovered the violin playing style of Northeast Africa, her eyes opened to the possibilities of the instrument. "The way they played it was different from classical music. I resonated with the style, and I was like, 'Maybe I can use this style with electronic music,'" she says.
This fusing of folk music and electronic production was the turning point for Sudan. "I started mixing my violin into beats,” she says, “It wasn't complicated — I'd just sing straight into the iPad." She honed her at-home style after moving to Los Angeles aged 19 to study music technology, and after a chance encounter at a Low End Theory party with Stones Throw A&R and Leaving Records owner Matthewdavid, she signed with Stones Throw. At the very start of her musical career, she's already won plaudits from the likes of the New York Times and Pitchfork, and played live at experimental festival Moogfest.
Her EP Sudan Archives is an extraordinary debut statement from a singular artist. Over six tracks, Sudan Archives layers harmonies, violin figures and ethereal vocals, grounding them all with the hip-hop beats.
In a world where all dogs are good dogs, only one dog can be the best at being a great dog. Coming soon to a theater near you. #hollywood
That’s an idea we had for a movie. Universal wasn’t into it. They said dog movies “ran their course” a decade ago.
The next year, they stole our idea and released The Secret Life of Pets, which made $875 million at the box office.
We tried to sue, but our lawyer was a baked potato and we didn’t even make it into a courtroom. Even Judge Judy said we didn’t have a case.
Since then, we’ve just been making music. Kind of boring, really, considering we had an $800 million movie idea in our back pocket from the beginning. But life isn’t always fair. Rarely is, in fact.
Anyway, the music thing turned out to be pretty fun.