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Like a fever dream combination of Brazil’s Marcos Valle and ’90s house sensations Deee-Lite, Oakland’s Brijean mix organic percussion, bass, and electronic techniques to craft their trippy blend of AM pop, Latin jazz, disco, and dance music. They debuted to online buzz with 2018′s Walkie Talkie and further expanded their approach on 2021′s Feelings. Following a difficult move away from the Bay Area to New Mexico, Brijean returned with the reflective 2022 EP Angelo.
Formed in 2018, the Oakland, California-based Brijean features the combined talents of percussionist/singer Brijean Murphy and bassist/instrumentalist/producer Doug Stuart. The daughter of noted percussionist and engineer Patrick Murphy, Murphy grew up in Los Angeles and started learning drums at a young age. An adept live and session player, she has worked with a bevy of indie artists, including Toro y Moi, Poolside, and U.S. Girls, among others. Conversely, Stuart grew up in the Chicago area and honed his skills studying jazz at the University of Michigan. Inspired by artists like J Dilla and Moodymann, he also began exploring electronic music and hip-hop. He eventually relocated to the Oakland area, where he has worked on his own projects under the name Dougie Stu and played with the psych-soul outfit Bells Atlas. It was through their various musical connections that Murphy and Stuart met, forging both a personal and creative partnership. In 2018, they released their debut album, Walkie Talkie, which found them framing Murphy’s breezy vocals with funky bass grooves and percussion, as well as electronic production.
The duo returned in 2021 with their second full-length, Feelings, a production that found them continuing to expand the sonic walls of their Tropicalia-inspired sound. Around the same time they hit the road, relocating several times and spending much of the COVID-19 pandemic living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They also suffered loss, including the death of Murphy’s father and both of Stuart’s parents. Out of this difficult period came the duo’s 2022 EP, Angelo, an introspective and nostalgic production named after their car, a trusty 1981 Toyota Celica. ~ Matt Collar