If there’s a report for probably the most types of percussion on an album, the Oakland duo Brijean may break it with their debut “Emotions.” There are a staggering 26 percussion devices speckled all through its 11 tracks — and Brijean Murphy performs all of them.
“There’s temple blocks, an assortment of chimes, cabasa, caxixis, triangle, a metallic child rattle, gongs, shakers, cowbells, tambourine,” she tells The Chronicle throughout a current video interview, pausing to consider extra earlier than arriving at an apparent one. “Drums — we turned a drum equipment on its facet for ‘Ocean.’ ”
As she continues down the checklist, she forgets to say congas, her first and first instrument that she’s performed on stage with world-touring bands like Toro y Moi, Poolside and U.S. Ladies. It’s additionally the instrument she was born to play.
Murphy grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the Bay Space in 2007. Her father, Patrick Murphy, was a sound engineer at A&M Data who additionally performed the congas for embellished artists like Tito Puente and Harry Nilsson. The elder Murphy realized the commerce from percussion greats like Ms. Bobbye Corridor — whose infinite credit embody taking part in with Marvin Gaye, Janis Joplin and Carole King — and Curtis Mayfield’s go-to man on the congas, “Grasp” Henry Gibson.
“She taught my dad that ‘Interior Metropolis Blues’ sample,” she says of Corridor, “after which he taught me. He realized totally different patterns from Henry, after which he taught me these too. They’re form of like heirlooms handed down.”
Maybe the best heirloom of all was her set of congas, which she inherited at age 14 when one among her father’s closest pals, Neil Diamond’s metal drum participant Vince Charles, died. It solidified her dedication to the instrument and to her profession as a full-time musician. “Emotions” comes out Friday, Feb. 26, on Ghostly Worldwide.
Regardless of the group’s moniker bearing Murphy’s first identify, the opposite half of the band is producer and multi-instrumentalist Doug Stuart, a touring musician with Bay Space bands like Bells Atlas and Meernaa. He studied jazz on the College of Michigan and launched the superb solo free jazz album “Acquainted Future” final 12 months underneath the identify Dougie Stu. In Brijean, he varieties not solely a inventive partnership with Murphy, but additionally a romantic one. In truth, the formation of their musical act doubled as a technique to spend extra time with one another amid opposing tour schedules.
“We appreciated one another’s musicality in addition to being companions,” Stuart says. “It was foolish that we nonetheless hadn’t made one thing in earnest that represented us individually and us collectively. These songs really feel like a illustration of the sunshine that our relationship brings me on the day by day.”
Recorded in Berkeley and Massive Sur, “Emotions” is their collective creation of hypnotic and breezy tropicalia-tinged tunes. Murphy’s stirring percussion pairs along with her ethereal, soothing vocals on tracks like “Ocean” and “Paradise,” and Stuart’s bass and hazy manufacturing really feel impressed by the Brazilian composer Tom Jobim.
Whereas the pair made a brief relocation to New Mexico throughout the pandemic, in addition they drove to Phoenix and Los Angeles, and the sonic sunshine of the album soundtracks the literal and figurative winding roads they traversed in lower than shimmering instances. It’s a mirrored image of how properly they work collectively, though they won’t be capable of current it to the world the best way they needed to.
“Once we have been making the album, there was a joke and daydreams about pool events and pageant reveals. What we created felt actually good after which we bought (report label) assist, which was a dream come true so then we may prioritize time collectively,” she says earlier than flashing fun and a smile. “Now we’ve further time.”
Brijean: Reside stream live performance by way of Bandsintown Plus. 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb 25. http://bit.ly/BayAreabrijean
“Emotions” is offered to stream and buy on Friday, Feb 26, at brijean.bandcamp.com.