Category: Bossa Nova

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Laure Briard Takes VIewers on a Tour of a Surreal Cinematic Universe

Toulouse, France-based singer/songwriter Laure Briard has had a highly uncommon path to professional music. Briard bounced around several different interests and passions she studied literature and criminology and even acted for a bit before concentrating on music full-time back in 2013.

After the release of her debut EP through Tricatel Records, Briard met Juilen Gasc and Eddy Cramps, and the trio began working on the material that would eventually become her full-length debut, 2015’s Révélation. Inspired by Françoise HardyMargo Guryan and Vashti BunyanRévélation featured modern and poetic lyricism.

Briard then signed with Midnight Special Records, who released her sophomore album, 2016’s Sur la Piste de Danse. Since Sur la Pisa de Danse, Briard’s work has increasingly been influenced by Bossa nova: 2018’s Coração Louco, featured lyrics written and sung in Portuguese — and a guest spot from acclaimed Brazilian JOVM mainstays and Latin Grammy Award nominated act Boogarins. 2019’s  Un peu plus d’amour s’il vous plâit, which was released through Michel Records in Canada, Midnight Special Records in Europe and Burger Records here in the States continued Briard’s ongoing love affair with Bossa nova and Brazilian music. 

Released earlier this year through Michel Records in North America, Dinosaur City Records in Australia and Midnight Special Records in Europe, the Toulouse-based singer/songwriter’s latest effort Eu Voo sees Briard continuing her successful collaboration with Boogarins, as well as with her longtime collaborators Vincent Guyot, a.k.a. Octopus and Marius Duflot.

In the lead up to the EP’s release, I wrote about two of the EP’s released singles:

  • EP title track “Eu Voo,” 60s Scott Walker-like orchestral psych pop meets 70s AM radio rock-like take on Bossa nova, featuring Briard’s ethereal vocals cooing in Portuguese, twinkling Rhodes, shimmering guitars and jazz-fusion that evokes the swooning euphoria of reuniting with a long-lost love. 
  • Supertrama,” which continues in a similar path as its predecessor — 60s Scott Walker-like orchestral psych pop meeting 70s AM radio rock     featuring twinkling piano, shuffling jazz-like drumming, a sinuous bass line, a regal horn arrangement, angular bursts of guitar and a soaring hook within an expansive yet breezy song arrangement. But just underneath the breezy surface, the song evokes a familiar bittersweet ache. 

Eu Voo’s latest single “Não Me Diz Nada”is a breezy, orchestral psych pop meets 70s AM radio rock meets smooth jazz take on Bossa nova centered around two guitar-led melody, twinkling keys, shuffling jazz drumming, a clarinet solo and Briard’s dreamy and ethereal delivery. The song’s title, which translates into English as “Don’t Tell Me Anything” references how body language and gestures often speak for themselves — and loudly. Briard explains that she came into the studio with some words in Portuguese about a man, who gave off mixed messages.

Directed by Ruby Cicero, the recently released video for “Não Me Diz Nada” stars Briard as a wanted, gun toting criminal, criss-crossing France while on the run. Visually, the video references Thelma and Louise, Pulp Fiction, David Lynch, Hitchcock and Ridley Scott among others as we see Briard’s outlaw encountering odd characters.

“Thanks to Laure’s training as an actress, and her studies in criminology, we have created a woman with multiple facets: a candid thief who, with her changes of hairstyle and identity, looks a bit like Tippie Hedren in No Springtime for Marnie. Bold as a lonely Thelma who doesn’t have Louise’s nostalgia, Laure meets singular characters on her path, both comical and disturbing, whom she knows how to face,” Ruby Cicero explains.

Murillo “Muca” Sguillaro is a Brazilian-born, London-based songwriter, guitarist and producer, who has built up a modest following through a number of various recording projects — including Muca and La Marquise. Since the release of a handful of attention-grabbing singles and videos with that project, Sguillaro has been rather busy: the Brazilian-born, London-based songwriter, guitarist and producer recently became a father — and to celebrate such a wondrous occasion, Sguillaro collaborated with British singer/songwriter Alice SK and legendary Bossa nova pioneer Roberto Menescal on “Until We Meet Again,” an old-timey and breezy take on the Bossa nova sound I adore so very much with subtle elements of indie folk and pop.

Sguillaro can trace the origins of this new collaboration back a little bit. He recently finished working on Alice SK’s debut EP and believed that her voice would be perfectly suited for Bossa nova, and for a composition he had written. Sguillaro asked the British singer/songwriter to write lyrics and sing on the track. Muca originally met Menescal when the Bossa nova pioneer was in London on tour, and the two Brazilian artists managed to exchange ideas and shared love for Brazilian music and other music. Sguillaro and Menescal recorded the bulk of the song’s arrangement in Rio de Janiero — with Sguillaro and Alice SK working on the final arrangements and vocals in London.

Featuring gently galloping rhythms, Alice SK’s gorgeous and expressive vocals, Menescal’s shimmering and looping acoustic guitar, bursts of cinematic strings, fluttering flute, “Until We Meet Again” is centered around an nostalgic longing for much simple and more innocent times, summer nights dancing all night and reunions with loved ones — whether in this world or in the next.

Interview: A Q&A with Laure Briard

Rising Toulouse, France-based singer/songwriter Laure Briard has had a highly uncommon path to professional music: Briard bounced around several different interests and passes, including studying literature and criminology, and even doing some acting before concentrating on music full-time in 2013. 

Briard initially signed with Tricatel Records, who released her debut EP. After the EP’s release, Briard met Juilen Gasc and Eddy Cramps. And began working on what would become her full-length debut, 2015’s Révélation. Inspired by Françoise HardyMargo Guryan and Vashti BunyanRévélation featured modern and poetic lyricism.  She then signed with Midnight Special Records, who released her sophomore album, 2016’s Sur la Piste de Danse.

Since Sur la Pisa de Danse, Briard’s work has increasingly been influenced by Bossa nova: 2018’s Coração Louco, featured lyrics written and sung in Portuguese — and a guest spot from acclaimed Brazilian JOVM mainstays and Latin Grammy Award nominated act Boogarins. 2019’s  Un peu plus d’amour s’il vous plâit, which was released through Michel Records in Canada, Midnight Special Records in Europe and Burger Records here in the States continued Briard’s ongoing love affair with Bossa nova and Brazilian music. 

Released last week through Michel Records in North America, Dinosaur City Records in Australia and Midnight Special Records in Europe, the Toulouse-based singer/songwriter’s latest effort Eu Voo sees Briard continuing her successful collaboration with Boogarins, as well as with her longtime collaborators Vincent Guyot, a.k.a. Octopus and Marius Duflot. Over the past year or so I’ve managed to write about two of the EP’s singles:

  • EP title track “Eu Voo,” 60s Scott Walker-like orchestral psych pop meets 70s AM radio rock-like take on Bossa nova, featuring Briard’s ethereal vocals cooing in Portuguese, twinkling Rhodes, shimmering guitars and jazz-fusion that evokes the swooning euphoria of reuniting with a long-lost love. 
  • Supertrama,” which continues in a similar path as its predecessor — 60s Scott Walker-like orchestral psych pop meeting 70s AM radio rock     featuring twinkling piano, shuffling jazz-like drumming, a sinuous bass line, a regal horn arrangement, angular bursts of guitar and a soaring hook within an expansive yet breezy song arrangement. But just underneath the breezy surface, the song evokes a familiar bittersweet ache. 

In this edition of the Q&A, I chatted with Laure Briard about a number of different topics including her hometown’s favorite spots to eat and see music, how she’s been keeping busy during pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions, her unusually winding path to a music career and much more. 

Check it out below. 

Photo Credit: Kamila K. Stanley

Photo Credit: Andre Peniche

___

WRH: I’ve been to Europe twice (Holland and Germany) but sadly, I’ve never been to France. I hope to see France – after all of this passes, of course. But for this question let’s imagine the pre-COVID world: I arrive in Toulouse. What would I need to see? Where should I eat? Where would I catch local music? 

Laure Briard: Ahah! There is a lot to see it’s a very nice town. You can just walk in the streets and look at the architecture. My favorite places are Le quartier St Sernin with the Basilique, la Dalbade. You should eat at Señor Tacos (ahah) very good Mexican restaurant. About places where you can listen to local music, there are Les Pavillons Sauvages, Le Ravelin, Le Taquin for example.

WRH: The COVID-19 pandemic has managed to put all of our plans and desires on an indefinite hold. You’ve worked on your latest EP, the recently released Eu Voo (more on that later!) but how have you been occupying your time? Have you picked up any new or unusual hobbies? Are you binge-watching anything? 

LB: In September I moved to Seignosse, it’s very close to the ocean. So every day I go to the beach and walk while listening to music, looking at the waves. Otherwise, I try to write songs, I read, and yeah lately I watched Le bureau des légendes. It’s a French TV show. I was very addicted!

WRH: You’ve had an unusual path to music: You’ve bounced around and pursued a number of different interests and passions — you studied literature and criminology, and even tried to act at one point before getting into music. Have these various pursuits, career interests and professional twists and turns influenced your work at all? When did you know that music was your thing? 

LB: I suppose that it had an impact on my personality so yes it influences my work. I can’t tell how exactly; it’s an abstraction. I knew that music was my thing very late. I was working in a high school for several years and one day I decided to stop and to give all my time to music. I was around 33 years old.

WRH: Who are your influences? 

LB: The Beatles, Ash, Weezer, Jane Birkin and Serge [Gainsbourg], The Cardigans (as a teenager)…

WRH: Who are you listening to right now? 

LB: Arthur Verocai, Janko Nilovíc, Judee Still, Israel Vibration

WRH: How would you describe your sound to those unfamiliar with you? 

LB: It’s always a tricky question to me…I go in so many directions that it’s hard to summarise in few words. So I would say: poprockpsychbossayéyé ahah!!

WRH: After the release of your sophomore album, your work and sound has been increasingly influenced by and draws from Bossa nova. How did you get into Bossa nova?  

LB: I’ve been a huge fan of bossa and tropicalism for years! A friend of mine introduced me to Vinicius De Moraes and Astrud Gilberto by lending me his iPod. I completely fell in love and I started to dig stuff on my own over and over. Then I met this band Boogarins when we were playing at SXSW. We became friends and they helped me to come to Brazil first to play and then for the recordings. Providential encounter!

WRH: Did you know Portuguese before you started recording Bossa nova? How many languages do you know? 

LB: No, I didn’t know this language… I learned at the same time I wrote. I only speak English, but not so well.

WRH: I first learned of you and your work through your cover of Sessa’s “Grandeza.” For me, your cover and the original are a perfect example of Bossa nova in my mind. They both have that wistful nostalgia for a past we can’t ever get back – whether it’s our innocence, a lost love, a place we knew and loved that’s been changed or something else. Perhaps because of the pandemic, I thought of concerts, sporting events, gatherings with friends and family, sitting inside bars and chatting with strangers and the like. So, what was about the song that drew you to it? And do you know what Sessa’s response to it was?  

LB: Thank you 🙂

We have mutual friends with Sessa. They introduced me to his music that I didn’t know. I listened to the song “Grandeza.” I was completely amazed by the sound, the vibe. I immediately wanted to do something with this song. At the end of the recording of Eu Voo I spent few days in Sao Paulo, and I had the chance to meet him! He seems happy and enthusiastic about this cover idea.

WRH: Eu Voo sees you continuing an ongoing and critically applauded collaboration Latin Grammy-nominated, JOVM mainstays Boogarins and your longtime collaborators Vincent Guyot, a.k.a. Octopus and Marius Duflot. How did the collaboration with Boogarins come about? How was it like to work with them on material? How collaborative were the recording sessions? 

LB: The collaboration came after our meeting and my first tour in Brazil. I started to write songs in Portuguese as a challenge then I sent them to them, and they liked it. Thanks to my label Midnight Special Records and people in Brazil like Ana Garcia (and of course Benke from Boogarins) we managed to organize a studio session to record my first EP Coracao Louco in 2018. And then Eu Voo in 2020. In these two cases, I sent demos and we recorded live, doing all of the arrangements together.

WRH: You recorded Eu Voo in São Paulo’s Dissenso Studio last January. How was it like to record the EP in Brazil and in that studio? And knowing everything that happened, does that give the EP’s material an even more bittersweet feel to you? 

LB: It was like a dream really. In this wonderful studio with wonderful people. Everybody got along so well; it was the perfect crew! I do feel very nostalgic of the recording session, especially with the pandemic occurring now. I feel like it was ages ago as if it was in a different time. I try to put things into perspective but it’s not easy sometimes.

WRH: According press to notes Eu Voo’s material can traces its origins back to when you had returned from a 2017 trip to Brazil.  Some months later, you had suffered through an illness – pneumopathy – and was taking Tramadol for pain and other symptoms. For me, the EP’s material is imbued with the aching longing and nostalgia for that special place that changed your life. As I listened to the EP there’s this subtle acknowledgement of mortality, that all of this is a fleeting fever dream. That’s my sense of it at least. How much did your illness inform or inspire the EP’s material? 

LB:I was sick while composing my first EP, so I don’t really know how much it did influence it or not. 

WRH: Sonically, Eu Voo’s material reminds me of Scott Walker, AM Radio Rock and psych pop. Did that influence the material at all? 

LB: I don’t know about Scott Walker; but I’ll listen to it!

WRH: “Eu Voo” is one of my favorite songs on the EP by the way.  If I remember it correctly, before you recorded the song, you decided that you should speed the tempo up and that you wanted the arrangements to be punchier and catchier. What inspired that decision? 

LB: Yes, I did! We had previously recorded this song for my first EP, but we didn’t have time to complete it to a satisfactory level. So I really had the necessary time-lapse to think about how I wanted it to sound and its artistic direction. I felt like the song had really a dance potential. That’s why I went with this idea of the catchy up-tempo. I suggested it to my collaborators, and they all agreed. 

WRH: You worked with a longtime collaborator NORMA for the playfully surreal visual for “Eu Voo.” How did the concept for the video come about? 

LB: It was Norma who had the idea to shoot in the desert and also for the wings! I put all my trust in her vision. Her ideas are always bright, creatives, and very much D.I.Y oriented. So, she came to me and mentioned the wings. We were influenced by Arizona Dream. We have a lot of references in common, so we get along easily. She also lives on the Atlantic coast and the desert where we filmed, Les Bardenas, is only a couple of hours away. It was the perfect plan! 

WRH: “Supertrama” sees you collaborating with Giovanni Cidreira, who you met through Boogarins. How was it like to work with him? 

LB: We did a long-distance collaboration. I sent him a guitar melody I had written and asked him if he would like to write the lyrics. About a week later, he sent me the same melody played on the piano with some beautiful words. We did the arrangements live when I came to Sa

o Paulo to record in the studio with my team. I would have loved for him to be there with us, but he couldn’t be there, unfortunately. He completely trusted us with the song. 

WRH: Now that the EP’s released, what’s next for you? 

LB: I wanna go on tour all over the world!!!

New Audio: French Singer-Songwriter Laure Briard Releases a Breezy and Bittersweet New Single

Throughout the course of last year, I wrote a bit about the rising Toulouse, France-based singer/songwriter Laure Briard. Briard has had an uncommon path to professional music: the French singer/songwriter bounced around several different interests and passions, including studying literature and criminology, and even doing a bit of acting before concentrating on music full-time on music back in 2013.

The Toulouse-based singer/songwriter initially signed with Tricatel Records, who released her debut EP. After the EP’s release, Briard met with Juilen Gasc and Eddy Cramps and began working on what would become her attention grabbing full-length debut, 2015’s Révélation, an effort inspired by Françoise Hardy, Margo Guryan and Vashti Bunyan that featured a very modern and poetic lyricism. She then signed with Midnight Special Records, who released her sophomore album, 2016’s Sur la Piste de Danse.

Since Sur la Pisa de Danse, Briard’s work has increasingly been influenced by Bossa nova: 2018’s Coração Louco, featured lyrics written and sung in Portuguese — and a guest spot from acclaimed Brazilian JOVM mainstays and Latin Grammy Award nominated act Boogarins. 2019’s Un peu plus d’amour s’il vous plâit, which was released through Michel Records in Canada, Midnight Special Records in Europe and Burger Records here in the States continued Briard’s ongoing love affair with Bossa nova and Brazilian music.

Slated for a February 19, 2021 through Michel Records in North America, Dinosaur City Records in Australia and Midnight Special Records in Europe, the Toulouse-based singer/songwriter’s forthcoming EP En Voo sees Briard continuing her successful collaboration with Boogarins, as well as with her longtime collaborators Vincent Guyot, a.k.a. Octopus and Marius Duflot. If you were frequenting this site over the course of last year, you may recall that I wrote about En VOO’s first single, EP title track “En Voo,” 60s Scott Walker-like orchestral psych pop meets 70s AM radio rock-like take on Bossa nova, featuring Briard’s ethereal vocals cooing in Portuguese, twinkling Rhodes, shimmering guitars and jazz-fusion that evokes the swooning euphoria of reuniting with a long-lost love.

“Supertrama,” En Voo’s second and latest single continues in a similar vein as its predecessor: 60s Scott Walker-like orchestral psych pop meets 70s AM rock featuring twinkling piano, shuffling jazz-like drumming, a sinuous bass line, a regal horn arrangement, angular bursts of guitar and a soaring hook within an expansive yet breezy song arrangement. But just underneath the breezy surface, the song evokes a familiar bittersweet ache. The track can trace its origins to a piano melody that Briard wrote in France. She then took the track too Brazilian musician and composer Giovanni Cidreira, who helped write the song’s lyrics. The track, along with the rest of the EP was recorded in São Paulo-based Dissenso Studio with Boogarins as her backing band.

“I met Giovani through the Boogarins, who he both collaborates and shares a friendship with,” Briard says of her collaboration with Cidreira. “I admire Giovani’s voice, his words, his stories, and the possibility of working with him one day quickly became a reality. Once I’d written the melody of ‘Supertrama,’ I took the plunge and asked Giovani if he would write the lyrics with me. He took the melody and wrote lyrics which don’t quite tell a story, but rather feelings, impressions, and memories. Just like the rest of the EP, the arrangements were made in real time in the studio. Pieuvre Convex was responsible for the final modulation of the track – he’s a king in that area!”

New Video: Complicated Animals Release a Gorgeous animated Visual for Their Acoustic Take on Foo Fighters “Times Like These”

Los Angeles– based duo Complicated Animals— singer/songwriter Monica da Silva and multi-instrumentalist Chad Alger — specializes in what the duo have coined Indie Nova, a mesh of Indie Pop and Bossa nova. Complicated Animals can trace their origins back to 2008: the then-Chicago-based da Silva, who had been wanting to steer her music back to her Brazilian roots had stumbled across Alger’s Craiglist ad seeking someone to start a Brazilian music project with. The duo met during the winter and they survived the cold Chicagoland winter by drinking red wine and black coffee — and at some point, during that haze, Alger picked up a guitar and da Silva made up some lyrics. And the songs they began crafting transported them to the beaches of Brazil.

The duo collaborated on da Silva’s solo album 2010’s Bruce Driscoll-produced Brasilissima, which featured songs written and sung in English and Portuguese. Brasilissima‘s first single “Aí Então”, caught the attention of the blogosphere and Cumbacha Records‘ Jacob Edgar, who featured the track on Putunayo World Music‘s Brazilian Beat compilation. Adding to a rapidly growing profile, the duo’s psychedelic “That’s Not The Way” pump dup crowds during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Written and recorded in a cabin in the Michigan woods, the duo’s Complicated Animals 2015 debut, the six song In This Game EP was released to critical praise by PopMatters, who called the effort “a 6 song masterpiece” and the “beginning of a new sound.” Since then da Silva released the haunting and cinematic “Soldado de Amor,” which was featured on the BBC TV dramatic series The Replacement . Last year, In This Game single “Phoenix” was featured in the Netflix’s Last Summer.

Complicated Animals’ latest single find the duo tackling one of my favorite Foo Fighter songs, and arguably one of their biggest hits “Times Like These.” Famously, Foo Fighters released an acoustic version of “Times Like These,” in which Dave Grohl accompanied himself on guitar and piano — and while leaning much closer to the acoustic version, the Complicated Animals cover is a breezier, folkier, Fleetwood Mac-like take on the song. In my book, “Times Like These” is the rare Foo Fighter song that works as an arena rock anthem and as an intimate singer/songwriter ballad, which is a testament to how well written the song is.

As da Silva and Alger explain, they gravitated toward the track, because the lyrics are in line with the events of this past year. “This year sure has been crazy. We’ve all had to slow down, and focus on familial relationships, and close friendships. We believe that these challenging times, are the times that shape us,” the Los Angeles based duo explain. “The most important thing we can do right now, is just be there for each other. We hope to inspire people with some positivity. The world needs more of that.”

The recently released video for the Complicated Animals “Times Like These” cover features some gorgeous, hand drawn and old-timey storybook-like animation by Brazilian visual artist and animator Karla Caprali. The video manages to capture some of the tragic and inspiring events of what may be one of the more difficult years humanity has seen in some time — from the fear, uncertainty and stress of a pandemic, the Black Lives Matter marches in the aftermath of the deaths of George Floyd, Armaud Arbury and others and more. And while we may have gone through so much together — and apart — it feels like there’s a cautious optimism that we can get things right for once.

“Brazilian artist Karla Caprali created this beautiful video to go with our track. She used a traditional animation technique, and drew each frame by hand,” the members of Complicated Animals explain. “She helped us to realize our vision, by featuring some of the major world events of this year. We have all been through a lot, and we could all use some healing.

New Video: Laure Briard Releases a Lighthearted and Playful Visual for Breezy “Eu Voo”

Rising Toulouse, France-based singer/songwriter Laure Briard has had an uncommon path to professional music: Briard has bounced around several different interests and passions, including studying literature and criminology and doing a bit of acting before fully concentrating on music in 2013.

Signing with Tricatel Records, Briard released her debut EP. Interestingly, as the story goes, the Toulouse-based singer/songwriter met Juilen Gasc and Eddy Cramps and began working on her full-length debut, Révélation, a pop-rock leaning album that received attention for material inspired by Françoise Hardy, Margo Guryan and Vashti Bunyan that featured a very modern and poetic lyricism. Briard released her sophomore album, 2016’s Sur la Piste de Danse through Midnight Special Records.

But since the release of Sur la Pisa de Danse, Briard’s work has increasingly been influenced by Bossa nova with 2018’s Coração Louco, featuring lyrics written and sung in Portuguese — and a a guest spot from acclaimed Brazilian JOVM mainstays and Latin Grammy Award nominated act Boogarins. Building upon a growing profile, Briard’s third album, last year’s Un peu plus d’amour s’il vous plâit was released through Michel Records in Canada, Midnight Special Records in Europe and Burger Records here in the States.

Earlier this year, Briard tackled São Paulo, Brazil-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Sessa’s “Grandeza.” The cover continued her ongoing love affair with Brazil and Brazilian music while crafting a dreamy rendition full of the wistful and bittersweet ache to the things and people you can’t have — and may never have again.

The Toulouse-based singer/songwriter’s forthcoming effort Eu Voo finds Briard continuing her successful collaboration with Boogarins, as well as her long-time collaborators Octopus (Vincent Guyot) and Marius Duflot. The EP’s first single, EP title track Eu Voo is a breezy 70s AM radio rock-take on Bossa nova, centered around Briard’s ethereal cooing in Portuguese, twinkling Rhodes, shimmering guitars and punchy jazz fusion-inspired drumming to help evoke swooning euphoria of reuniting with your love.

Written at home, several months after her first trip to Brazil in 2017, while suffering from pneumopathy and taking Tramadol, “Eu Voo” was recorded earlier this year — but as Briard explains the song really came to life earlier this year during recording sessions at Dissenso Studio in São Paulo. “‘Eu Voo’ is a song about crossing the ocean to find one’s beloved,” Briard explains,. “During the new recording session in January, I absolutely wanted to do the song while changing the initial arrangements: accelerate the tempo and make it more punchy, catchy. With the Boogarins in the chorus singing with me ‘estou a travessar o oceano,’ ‘I cross the sea!'”

Directed by her frequent collaborator Norma, the recently released video finds Briard meeting a worker in the desert, where she gets measured for personally-made wings. The rest of the time, we follow our wing-wearing protagonist running in circles in an attempt to fly. Much like the accompanying song, the video is a bittersweet fever dream.

“Laure has been my friend for years, and she has always inspired in me images, settings,” the video’s director Norma explains. “I imagined her as an outlandish heroine in an American indie movie, tender and offbeat. I created a clip of my dreams, and I made for her bird wings, to fly far away from heartaches and pains of the soul, above the towns, overhead canyons, towards the blue horizon. We left the earthy Landes for the surreal landscape of the Bardenas desert, in Spain, where we found our American fantasy. We shot these images in a few hours, as the sun was going down. But as I was closing up the equipment, I felt the desert sand rise – I lifted my head and there before me, Laure was flying. I opened a warm San Miguel and watched her make circles around the twilight.”

Eu Voo EP is slated for a February 19, 2021 release through Michel Records in North America, Dinosaur City Records in Australia and Midnight Special Records in Europe.

Los Angeles– based duo Complicated Animals— singer/songwriter Monica da Silva and multi-instrumentalist Chad Alger — specializes in what the duo have coined Indie Nova, a mesh of Indie Pop and Bossa nova. Complicated Animals can trace their origins back to 2008: the then-Chicago-based da Silva, who had been wanting to steer her music back to her Brazilian roots had stumbled across Alger’s Craiglist ad seeking someone to start a Brazilian music project with. The duo met during the winter and they survived the cold Chicagoland winter by drinking red wine and black coffee — and at some point, during that haze, Alger picked up a guitar and da Silva made up some lyrics. And the songs they began crafting transported them to the beaches of Brazil.

The duo collaborated on da Silva’s solo album 2010’s Bruce Driscoll-produced Brasilissima, which featured songs written and sung in English and Portuguese. Brasilissima‘s first single “Aí Então”, caught the attention of the blogosphere and Cumbacha Records‘ Jacob Edgar, who featured the track on Putunayo World Music‘s Brazilian Beat compilation. Adding to a rapidly growing profile, the duo’s psychedelic “That’s Not The Way” pump dup crowds during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Written and recorded in a cabin in the Michigan woods, the duo’s Complicated Animals 2015 debut, the six song In This Game EP was released to critical praise by PopMatters, who called the effort “a 6 song masterpiece” and the “beginning of a new sound.” Since then da Silva released the haunting and cinematic “Soldado de Amor,” which was featured on the BBC TV dramatic series The Replacement . Last year, In This Game single “Phoenix” was featured in the Netflix’s Last Summer.

Complicated Animals’ latest single find the duo tackling one of my favorite Foo Fighter songs, and arguably one of their biggest hits “Times Like These.” Famously, Foo Fighters released an acoustic version of “Times Like These,” in which Dave Grohl accompanied himself on guitar and piano — and while leaning much closer to the acoustic version, the Complicated Animals cover is a breezier, folkier, Fleetwood Mac-like take on the song. In my book, “Times Like These” is the rare Foo Fighter song that works as an arena rock anthem and as an intimate singer/songwriter ballad, which is a testament to how well written the song is.

As da Silva and Alger explain, they gravitated toward the track, because the lyrics are in line with the events of this past year. “This year sure has been crazy. We’ve all had to slow down, and focus on familial relationships, and close friendships. We believe that these challenging times, are the times that shape us,” the Los Angeles based duo explain. “The most important thing we can do right now, is just be there for each other. We hope to inspire people with some positivity. The world needs more of that. We’re collaborating with a talented Brazilian artist named Karla Caprali. She has created the song art, and is working on a powerful visual (animated video) to go with the track. We’re staying hopeful for the future. As Oscar Wilde said, ‘Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.’”

New Video: Rising Duo Muca & La Marquise Release a Gorgeous Animated Visual for Breezy “Blue Moon Bossa”

Muca & La Marquise is a rapidly rising London-based duo featuring Brazilian-born, London-based songwriter and producer Muca and 22-year-old vocalist La Marquise. Their debut single “London.” grabbed the attention of Roberto Menescal and Will Gompertz. Building upon the growing buzz surrounding the London-based duo, their latest single “Blue Moon Bossa” finds Muca, the act’s primary songwriter crafting a João Gilberto and Tom Jobim-inspired bossa nova — for modern times.

Featuring an armament of looping and shimmering acoustic guitar, a sinuous double bass line from Yaron Stavi, stuttering percussion and a breezy melody the track is centered around La Marquise’s achingly melancholic vocals. And at its core, is a longing for home — and a longing for a simpler time, of moonlit nights with the one you let get away . . .

As Muca explains, the track came from a desire to visit his homeland to musically reconnect with his roots. “I have a rock and blues background, but really, I’ve always had the Brazilian music hidden somewhere in me,” Muca says in press notes. “I thought it was time to bring it back to my composition. Having La Marquise singing the song is fantastic, she really grooves, and she added such a magical touch to it.

The songwriting process for “Blue Moon Bossa” was rather straight forward. “Myself and La Marquise have an excellent music connection,” Muca says. “Most of the songs we wrote were quite fast, time flew by, it was so easy. It all starts with guitars and vocals. I bring the first ideas with chord progressions on the guitar and some melodies. She then adds her notebook and begins to add lyrics and add more melodies to it. I was amazed how the track naturally developed into the Bossa Nova/Jazz style, and I’m delighted with the song and album result.”

In terms of production, Muca wanted a much more modern approach. He enlisted the assistance of São Paulo-produced drummer, percussionist and producer Bruno Buarque. “I told him and wanted a different approach for this song, using more electronic elements to this track,” Muca says. “He added some exciting Brazilian style elements, using his MPC to reproduce instruments such as cuica, bumbo, tamborin, ganza, and shakers. He recorded them in Brazil and sent me the files, I worked with the arrangements here in London.”

Animated by Ed Murray, the recently released video for “Blue Moon Bossa” is gorgeous and dream-like visual that features La Marquise as a singing moon before eventually seeing animated version of the duo playing and singing. The result is an old-fashioned view of the cosmos, complete with astrological charts. “The minute I wrote it, I knew it needed an animated music video to follow it,” Muca says of the song and its video treatment. “I had some ideas in mind and decided to contact the incredible illustrator, Ed Murray, who I am a fan of, to develop the concept. I couldn’t be happier with what he created.”

The duo are planning to release their self-titled, full-length debut in early 2021.

Lyric Video: Paris’ MiM Teams Up with Selma and Jaw on a SLick and Modern Take on Samba

Emilien Bernaux, a.k.a. MiM is a Paris-based multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer and founder of Lafayette Street Studio. Berneaux can trace the origins of his music career back to his childhood: at a young age, he had classical training in guitar and piano. The Parisian multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer and producer’s first foray into electronic music was he joined drum ‘n’ bass collective UNC Audio.

Back in 2011, Bernaux made his national debut on Canal+ when he sang several songs including the credits for the TV series Bref. That same year, he co-foundend Pour Ma Paire De Jordans (PMPDJ) alongside Entek and Gress. And continuing on a productive period, Bernaux started ongoing collaborations with a diverse array of artists including Disiz, Tito Prince, Set&Match, Fils du calvaire’s and DOP’s Jaw and Laetitia Dana among others. Additionally, he has collaborated with his PMPDJ bandmate Entek in the side project MiM & Entek, which released their debut EP through Château Brouillard.

In 2013, the Parisian multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer founded Lafayette Street Studio, his creative home base. The year after founding the studio, he cofounded the Première Fois party, an event which mixed comedy and music — and this was done while taking on production duties for Mister V’s 2018 platinum selling album Double V.

Further cementing his growing reputation for being incredibly prolific, Bernaux released his solo debut EP 2015’s Saṃsāra while production Anna Kova’s EP diptych Pigments and Pixels. And by 2017, he had started composing movie for motion pictures, beginning with Benoit Forgead’s Yves, which earned the Directors’ Fortnight selection at Cannes Film Festival. Since then, he has continued to work in film, TV and commercials working on the scores for several Valentin Petit films, including Anthophobia, Portrait of Rafael Delande, Forests of symbols and The noise of light, as well for ad campaigns and TV shows.

Last year, he collaborated with Disiz la Peste, Fianso, Tito Prince, Youssoupha, Alina Pash, Kader Diaby 4REAL and Charles-Baptiste. Interestingly, throughout his career, Bernaux has developed a reputation for being both eclectic and versatile, with his work drawing from hip-hop, dubstep, grime, trap and trip-hop.

Earlier this year, MiM began working on his latest effort Cycle, which features collaborations with Nathan Daisy, José Reis Fontāo and actor Alice David. The effort’s latest single “Samba Do Gringo” is a breezy and modern take on Bossa nova and samba.. Centered around looped shimmering guitar samples and trap-like beats, the track features JAW’s mournful, mostly English versus focusing on a cold-blooded woman, who has done him and his heart incredibly dirty paired with Selma’s ethereal and plaintive vocals effortlessly switching between Portuguese and English. And under the slick production is an age-old tale of a meet-cute that has turned embittering and heartbreaking — with an infectious hook.