Towards the second half of 2015, the Brazilian indie psych rock quartet Boogarins quickly became a JOVM mainstay, and if you had been frequenting this site over that period dog time, I had written about a couple of singles off their most recent album, Manual. More on Manual will come up later in this post but before we jump ahead, there is some much needed backstory I’ll get into to refresh the memories of my regular readers and to inform those who are coming here for the first time. . .
Boogarins can trace their origins to when its founding members, the duo of Fernando “Dino” Almeida and Benke Ferraz started playing music together as teenagers in their hometown, the central Brazilian city of Goiânia. The music that Almedia and Ferraz began to write and then eventually record was a unique vision of psych pop that drew from their country’s incredibly rich and diverse musical history — but with a decidedly modern viewpoint. Their 2013 full-length debut, written and recorded as a duo, As Plantas Que Curam was a decidedly lo-fi home studio effort, pieced together in isolation before the duo had ever played a live gig. By the time, their debut album was released, Almedia and Ferraz had recruited a rhythm section, and the completed lineup had started developing a profile both in their hometown and nationally, as they started booking and playing regular gigs in Sao Paulo and several of Brazil’s largest cities. Without much support from a label or from a major PR firm, As Plantas Que Curam was a critical and commercial success in Brazil, as the album received praise from Rolling Stone Brazil, who had dubbed the band “Best New Artist” in 2013, and the album was nominated for several awards on GloboTV’s annual music award show. Arguably, a great deal of the success and attention that Boogarins has seen in their homeland comes from the fact that unlike the majority of contemporary Brazilian acts that primarily sing lyrics in English, like their British, Australian and American counterparts, Boogarins’ material is written and sung completely in Brazilian Portuguese.
Now, if there’s one thing the blogosphere has gotten absolutely right, its the fact that as a general rule it has given attention and praise to a number of fantastic internationally-based acts that many American listeners wouldn’t have been aware of before, unless they were particularly adventurous. And over the last two years or so, Boogarins have started to receive increasing international attention as the band as toured across the globe, playing at some of the world’s most renowned and largest festivals, including Austin Psych Fest, Burgerama, Primavera Sound Festival and headlining shows in clubs in London, Paris, Barcelona and New York. Naturally, with that kind of exposure, the band started to receive praise from a number of internationally recognized outlets such as Pitchfork and The New York Times, who once compared the Brazilian band’s sound to the likes of early Jefferson Airplane.
During their Spring 2014 European tour, the members of Boogarins spent two weeks in Jorge Explosion’s Estudio Circo Perrotti in Gijón, Spain, where they started tracking material, which would wind up comprising their sophomore effort, Manual, which was released late last year Actually, the album’s full (and official title) is Manual,ou guia livre de dissolução dossonhos, which translates into English as Manual, or Free Guide to the Dissolution of Dreams, and the material on the album is specifically meant to be viewed as a diary or sort of dream journal. Manual‘s material is reportedly not only more personal than their debut, it’s also more socially conscious as it draws from the sociopolitical and class issues affecting their homeland before, during and after the 2014 World Cup as entire neighborhoods were pushed aside and destroyed for massive commercial developments that helped wealthy global corporations make even more money, instead of uplifting those who desperately needed socioeconomic uplift — an uplift that the country’s poorest, most vulnerable and most at risk were promised. Certainly, as Americans — and as a native New Yorker — the phenomenon that informs Manual should feel frighteningly familiar, as our country’s cities are having their faces, characters and populations changing from increasing gentrification, and as increasing numbers of people are struggling to maintain a semblance of “The American Dream.” So sonically and thematically the album’s sound seems to mesh the sociopolitical concerns of the likes of Rage Against the Machine with the dreamy 60s-inspired psych rock.
Recently, the renowned psych rock quartet teamed up with O Terno, an up-and-coming Brazilian psych rock trio — comprised of Gabriel Basile, Martim Bernardes and Victor Chaves — to cover Clube da Esquina‘s “Saídas e Bandeiras No. 1.” And in some way that shouldn’t be surprising as Clube da Esquina (which translates to Corner Club in English) was a renowned Brazilian artists collective, influenced by the likes of The Beatles and The Platters, and perhaps best known for a sound that possessed elements of rock ‘n’ roll, progressive rock, bossa nova, jazz, Brazilian country music and classic music. Ironically enough, most critics at the time didn’t quite understand what the collective was doing and as a result, their material was critically panned; however, history has proven those early critics dreadfully wrong, as the collective’s self-titled debut, released back in 1972 has largely been considered by fans, musicians and contemporary critics as one of the biggest highlights in contemporary Brazilian music; in fact, Clube da Esquina’s self-titled debut was as the forefront of a musical movement and sound that achieved as much international attention as bossa nova. The original song clocks in at a little under 50 seconds but pairs dreamily falsetto vocals and off-kilter percussion with a breezy and trippy psych rock/prog-rock composition consisting of rolling guitar and bass chords and atmospheric background noises. In some way, the song sounds as though it were inspired by both The Beatles and Rush.
Interestingly, the Boogarins and O Terno cover of “Saídas e Bandeiras No. 1.” seems to combine “Saídas e Bandeiras No. 1.” and Saídas e Bandeiras No. 2″ while expanding upon the original’s musical ideas by adding a lengthy, twisting and turning guitar solo and an even trippier vibe; in some way, the Boogarins and O Terno cover sounds as though they’re giving the “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts I-V and Parts VI-IX” treatment.
Check out how the cover compares to the originals below.
Also catch Boogarins during a North American tour throughout April and May — and it includes an NYC area stop at Baby’s All Right. Check out the tour dates below.
Apr 19 -New Haven, CT – Cafe Nine
Apr 21 – Cambridge, MA – Middle East (Upstairs)
Apr 22 – Brooklyn, NY – Baby’s All Right
Apr 23 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
Apr 24 – Washington, DC – DC9
Apr 25 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle – Back Room
Apr 26 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
Apr 27 – New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
Apr 28 – Houston, TX – Rudyard’s
Apr 29 – Austin, TX – Levitation
May 01 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar *
May 03 – San Diego, CA – The Casbah *
May 05 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echoplex *
May 06 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall *
May 09 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios *
May 10 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile *
May 13 – Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club *
May 14 – Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon *
May 15 – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle *
May 16 – Detroit, MI – UFO Factory *
May 17 – Toronto, ON – Silver Dollar Room
* w/ Dungen