Viva Brasil

By David Kelsey
Didi Gutman refuses to disclose why his band is called Brazilian Girls when there is only one woman in the band and none of the members originates from Brazil. “We all came up with it – but we have this pact – I can’t tell you.” The Brazilian Girls self-produced limited ep, “Its Huge”, came into the hands of an executive at Verve Records, who promptly bootlegged fifty copies of it, placing them within earshot of other Verve executives. Eventually a deal was closed, an initial ep “Lazy Lover” was released, followed by the eponymous full length CD “Brazilian Girls”, which continues to gain momentum. Gutman, the keyboardist and the main composer of the band credits Nublu for the providing a space for live bands such as his, as “it is difficult for musicians to find work. The DJ’s have taken over.”
Gutman enjoys the different styles of music that influence the Brazilian Girls music, who personally cites Jazz greats such as Gershwin and Jobim, classical composers such as Bach, Debussy and Ravel among his influences, and even Yiddish songs his grandmother would sing, which he loved because they are “melancholy.” On top of these more impressionist influences are percussive “ambiance” sounds, layered with “sounds from the street,” particularly striking on Me Gusta Cuando Callas, which Didi, a former sound engineer and producer for others, declined to give the precise source he sampled. This song also has an anthem quality with its refrain of “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh”, a linguistic relief for an audience generally less than fluent in at least some of the five languages the Brazilian Girls sing in.
Gutman and Sciubba, the beautiful lead singer whose performance antics seem something out of the cabaret scene of the Weimer Republic, are lovers, and this may be responsible for some of the more sexualized tracks on the CD, such as “Don’t Stop”, “Lazy Lover”, and perhaps a bit over the top, “Pussy”, with its universal refrain of “Pussy, pussy, pussy, marijuana.”. “Don’t take us for granted,” admonished Gutman when asked to explain this specific choice of lyrics. “Maybe we don’t always want to be sophisticated. It can coexist. You can be silly and sophisticated too.”
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