Comprised of Monica da Silva and Chad Alger, the duo of Complicated Animals can trace their collaboration to the first album they recorded together, Brasilissima which was released in 2011 and credited under da Silva’s name. Produced by da Silver and Alger’s brother, Bruce Driscoll, best known for his work with Blondfire, Avicii and Freedom Fry, Brasilissima, featured songs with lyrics sung in Portuguese and English; in fact, the album’s first single “Aí Então” gained attention from music critics and blogs, and eventually caught the attention of Jacob Edgar, head of Cumbancha Records, who featured the track on Putumayo Wold Music compilation, Brazilian Beat. And adding to the international attention the duo received, another single from that album, “That’s Not The Way” was featured during ESPN’s coverage of last year’s World Cup in Brazil. 

da Silva and Alger’s debut effort as Complicated Animals, In This Game EP is slated for a February 10 release through Socialite Fiasco Music and it features material that mixes indie pop with vintage Brazilian Bossa Nova, in a style that the duo has dubbed, Indie Nova. Drawing from the mutual inspirations of the changing seasons, vintage films and vintage music, da Silva and Alger wanted to make sure that the material on their debut EP to tell a story. With that in mind, the duo felt it was important to make sure that evoked a specific picture in the listener’s mind of a specific room, space or sound, and because of that it meant the the duo’s songwriting process was particularly deliberate – to the point that every sound was carefully considered. 

“Phoenix,” the EP’s first single pairs plinking piano chords, da Silva’s seductively breathy cooing, a sinuous bass line and staccato-like drumming that will cement the duo’s reputation for breezily upbeat and accessible pop with a serious, thoughtful side. In the case of “Phoenix” the song’s breezy nature actually belies a song that takes about possessing resiliency in the face of the most difficult parts of life – and yet, the song also manages to be a much needed blast of summer.