Brazilian quartet Boogarins made waves locally during South by Southwest 2014, its sweetly psychedelic pop a balm during the chaos. One album and two appearances at Austin Psych Fest later, the band interrupts its current U.S. tour in support of last year’s superb Manual to let its dreamy hooks and percolating rhythms illuminate a four-weekend stand at Hotel Vegas.
“Austin was the first place we stepped out of Brazil,” writes lead guitarist Benke Ferraz during a drive from Portland to Anchorage. “In that opportunity, we played twice in Hotel Vegas. We have great supporters of the band there since that first moment. We are living around [Austin’s] Space Rehearsal & Recording studio and are working on our third album while doing this residency in July.”
Besides the opportunity to record, a residency made sense.
“We’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately, plus we never had this residency experience before in our career,” explains Ferraz. “It seems a great way of connecting with places. Our concerts are full of improvised parts, and to play more than once in such a short space of time lets us be more free in some ways.”
It’s this “free flow movement,” as singer/guitarist Dinho Almeida calls it, that slots Boogarins firmly in its country’s legacy of sonic experimentation.“We can call this psychedelic, but for me it sounds more that we are in this group of Brazilian artists who expands and mixes our traditional way of doing music with nowadays textures to have something more close to what we live,” writes Almeida. “For me, this is what Os Mutantes, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Novos Baianos, and a bunch of other not-so-well-known Brazilian artists did and are doing all the time. If we can call what we do traditional, it sounds more open and ownerless than any Tropicalia or psychedelic tradition.” – Michael Toland
No one spills their guts quite as gracefully as 25-year-old Mitski Miyawaki. Cracking open her darkest uncertainties bore the Brooklynite’s brand-new disc Puberty 2 a gloomy intimacy, swinging between indie anthems and unhinged acoustic meltdowns. Wrestling with identity and anxiety, it’s held together by Mitski’s sharp self-awareness, staggeringly visual lyrics, and a voice that asks gently to be heard while commanding you listen.– Libby Webster
Baby Cham was considered the next Jamaican reggae crossover after Sean Paul. Expectations centered on 2000’s Wow... The Story, a mélange of his hometown’s dancehall with traditional hip-hop. Shedding light on his impoverished upbringing in survivalist ode “Ghetto Pledge” and the bludgeoning “Heading to the Top,” he’s also boasted A-list catalog guests including T-Pain, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, and Damian Marley.– Alejandra Ramirez