Brazilian Girls foursome make mongrel magic

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      She was born in Rome, raised in Nice and Munich, and now resides in New York. Could Brazilian Girls lead singer Sabina Sciubba be any more cosmopolitan? Reached on the phone at a New York City tour stop, she says “yes”.

      “I could have lived in Japan for five years—I mean if you think about it, I’ve only ever lived in prosperous, white people’s worlds,” says Sciubba, who’s refreshingly unpretentious, especially considering she’s an experimental-pop chanteuse who sings in five languages, speaks with a seductive Heinz 57 accent, and wears a mesh face mask on-stage.

      According to Sciubba, it’s only through touring with her band that she feels worthy of the title “worldly”. But life on the road hasn’t come without a price for the globetrotting singer.

      “Sometimes I feel like, ”˜Oh God, why can’t I just be a hairdresser somewhere in the countryside of France or wherever.’ But then I also know that I would go completely crazy if I were.”

      Instead of trading in her mike for some scissors, she’s put a self- imposed moratorium on trying to out-party the boys in her band.

      “I finally resigned to the fact that I’m a girl and I have to take it a little easier,” she says of the life-altering decision she made earlier this year. “I just couldn’t do it anymore. I started to get really tired, irritable, difficult, depressed, and having all kinds of physical ailments that were obviously a consequence of my abusive lifestyle. For me, sleeping little and doing drugs is just not compatible. I need time to recover and if I don’t get that time, I feel like shit.”

      It was this near burnout that inspired “Last Call”, a dreamy pop-house delight featured on the Brazilian Girls’ latest album—the multilingual and sexier than hell Talk to La Bomb. The pií¨ce de résistance from this sophomore effort is “Jique” an immediately catchy groove in which Sciubba shows off her linguistic prowess. Almost as memorable is the acid-jazzy “All About Us, a song where Sciubba’s drops her blasé delivery and shows off how beautiful her voice can be when called upon. And then there’s “Sexy Asshole”, a Teutonic dance number in which Sciubba used a nameless bar star as her muse. Since she was still going out with keyboardist Didi Gutman at the time, it didn’t go over so well with him.

      “I don’t even know who it was—it was just some guy with green eyes,” she says of her two-week infatuation. “But when I wrote this song, my boyfriend was like, ”˜Ah, who’s this song about?’ And I couldn’t even remember. He thought I was lying.”

      For those of you who aren’t familiar with the band, Gutman is the one rocking the hippie dreads. It’s a look that seems to clash with Sciubba’s film-noir chic. But then again, all four members look as though they could be from different groups. Bassist Jesse Murphy is a stocky little package currently going through his just-ginch Flea stage right now. Drummer Aaron Johnston, meanwhile, is a lanky Average Joe who looks like he could fit right in with the Matthew Good Band.

      “I guess if there is a common denominator it is that everyone is really his or her own character,” she says of her “melting pop” quartet. “Which I think for our band kind of makes sense because we don’t have a coherent drawer that you can put our music into either. In fact, that’s kind of our trademark: a band that is all over the place.”

      Brazilian Girls play Richard’s on Richards on Monday (November 6).

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