Review: Brazilian Girls Make It a New Wave Night at the El Rey

Brazilian Girls - Photo by Harriet Kaplan
Photo by Harriet Kaplan


There was an excitement and anticipation in the air as fans filled The El Rey to see The Brazilian Girls, who just released their first album in 10 years, Let’s Make Love, with a tour supporting it and a final stop in Los Angeles.

The New-York based band featuring,vocalist Sabrina Sciubba, keyboardist Didi Gutman, bassist Jesse Murphy and drummer Aaron Johnson, are well-known for their distinctive musical stew that incorporates pop, world, dance, dub, lounge and boss nova rhythms together.  Let’s Make Love has been seen by critics as a departure from their lounge roots of the past, moving into another sonic area that leans toward synth pop and is more in the vein of new wave these days.

Brazilian Girls - Photo by Harriet Kaplan
Brazilian Girls – Photo by Harriet Kaplan

The clipped and staccato delivery (think of Grace Jones) of the Italian-born beauty and chanteuse Sciubba gives the songs an air of mystery and exotic appeal. Live, the long dark-haired, slender vocalist who dressed stylishly in a white blouse and pants with a cotton candy pink wrap draped around shoulders, had a glamorous presence and her appeal seemed more urban, sophisticated and worldly.

Sciubba spoke here and there to the audience and she was great spirits and accepted kitschy black glasses from someone in the crowd that lit up like neon hearts and she seemed to have fun wearing them onstage as she sang.

The other band members are also an integral part of the sound, arrangements and creative writing process having collaborated on all of the material. Onstage, they put all the critical elements of their combined talents together into a strong sound that continues to be infectious and draw their enthusiastic audiences in.

The GRAMMY-nominated alternative unit brought a upbeat and fun party atmosphere to the show that energetic throughout with a positive and uplifting tone. Many concertgoers were seen dancing during the lively set. Couples would also spontaneously break out into passionate and fiery partner dancing, twirling each with dramatic vigor across the expansive stage floor.

Whatever stylistic changes and directions The Brazilian Girls may take, this packed show was absolute proof there continues to be an audience for this established band as they continue to evolve and follow their sources of artistic inspiration.