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Ghostly International

Feelings

by Brijean

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TiwiLi Daley
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TiwiLi Daley This is dance music, no doubt, The rhythm makes you move endlessly. It just doesn't stop! Fantastic Stuff Favorite track: Wifi Beach.
Audio Soul Project
Audio Soul Project thumbnail
Audio Soul Project Sounds like joy bottled in percussion. Favorite track: Wifi Beach.
jones
jones thumbnail
jones this album hits. feels like a groovy live mariocart soundtrack on L. the drums, chirps, and the bass bby Favorite track: Wifi Beach.
David Nicholas
David Nicholas thumbnail
David Nicholas Positive vibes and thoughtful hooks from start to finish. The disc we need right now.
Andrew Jervis
Andrew Jervis thumbnail
Andrew Jervis Dialing in their warm disco vibes, this is another step up for the funky sound duo from Oakland. Favorite track: Moody.
mlin8
mlin8 thumbnail
mlin8 This album reminds me of relaxed walks in the sunshine, a warm and cozy blanket in the winter, laying on the grass looking at clouds on a beautiful sunny day, sunlight sparkling on the surface of a lake, a meadow full of flowers swaying in the summer breeze. I adore this blissful, delightful, groovy and dreamy disco/house album! ❤️ Favorite track: Wifi Beach.
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Pepe 01:21
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Feelings 03:46
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Ocean 04:21 video
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Paradise 02:50
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Chester 01:27
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Hey Boy 03:15 video
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Moody 02:14

about

“Do you feel what I feel too?” Brijean Murphy floats the question at the start of Feelings, the full-length Ghostly International debut from Brijean, her collaborative project with Doug Stuart. Guided by a lush mix of charismatic keyboard chords, grooving bass lines, and radiant bongo-driven rhythms, the “Day Dreaming” lyric doubles as an invitation and a statement of intention. Brijean want you to move, physically, mentally, dimensionally; this is dance music for the mind, body, and soul. With Feelings, they’ve manifested a gentle collective space for respite, for self-reflection, for self-care, for uninhibited imagination and new possibilities. The album cultivates a specific vibe, a softness Murphy has come to call “romancing the psyche.”

Growing up in a family immersed in jazz, Latin and soul music, Murphy would become an accomplished DJ, session and live player in Oakland’s diverse music scene and one of indie’s most in-demand percussionists (Poolside, Toro Y Moi, U.S. Girls). In 2018, she began recording songs with multi-instrumentalist and producer Doug Stuart, who shares a background in jazz and pop in bands such as Bells Atlas, Meernaa, and Luke Temple. Following their first sessions, which resulted in the mini-album Walkie Talkie (released in 2019 on Native Cat Recordings), the duo continued freeform hangs in Oakland, inviting friends Chaz Bear, Tony Peppers, and Hamir Atwal. “We improvised on different feels for hours,” says Murphy. “Nothing quite developed at first but we had seeds. We re-opened the sessions a couple months later, after returning from tours, and spent a month developing the songs in a little 400 square foot cottage.” 

The leap from Walkie Talkie to Feelings is marked by a notable expanse in range and energy. Brijean’s signature sound — a golden-hued dream pop tropicalia of dazzling beats and honeyed vocals — elevates with the addition of live drummers, strings, and synths. The album also finds Murphy fully trusting in her strengths, not just as a percussionist, but as a songwriter and collaborator. “I think in valuing myself as elemental, and not an “aux” percussionist, encouraged me to make this project, with the undoubted support and talents of Doug Stuart, and has also encouraged me to collaborate with many different people.” 

Aforementioned album opener “Day Dreaming” is a dynamic celebration of newness: the excitement in finding deeper understandings of yourself as you get to know someone, something, or somewhere new. “Wifi Beach” drops a pin in pure psych-pop exotica. With Atwal on drums, Stuart on bass, Peppers on keys, and Bear engineering, the group improvised the track’s intro sequence based on the vision of a lavish 1970s pool party. Establishing the scene is a mid-frequency drum kit disco shuffle augmented by tight congas and timbale effect, as Murphy sings in spurts: “I want to be / Deep in love / I want to be / Say you love me too / I want to be / Honey.” The stanzas cut between “reflective moments of wants and being overwhelmed by feelings of the present,” she explains. “A lot of the ‘love songs’ I write are to my psyche, self-reflections on how to encourage tender perspectives and make more time for the sweet stuff.”

Though there is a loose, dance-oriented motif throughout, the material gives way to somnolent turns. On “Ocean,” Brijean’s anodyne lyrics, reminiscent of Astrud Gilberto’s airy croon, float atop a brushed drum pattern, sparkling rhodes lines, and pittering and softly funky woodblock bops. The opening line sets up the rest, “In this gentle space we lay” — among the album’s propensity for movement, tracks like “Ocean” stand out by leaning back for momentary sways of blissful introspection. Murphy calls the charming “Hey Boy” a “psychedelic guide — the exploration of finding what feels good — through sorrow, anxiety, apathy.” This mentality applies to Feelings on the whole: in these nebulous and verdant worlds of hazy melodies, feathery hooks, and percussive details, the songs simply want us to feel alive. They radiate in wonderful abandon and with a sense of devotion to the self.

credits

released February 26, 2021

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Brijean Oakland, California

Brijean (of Toro Y Moi and Poolside), collaborates with multi-instrumentalist and producer Doug Stuart. Together they deliver a dreamy, back-room disco; creating an elegant sound with a rhythmic and harmonic palette that evokes 70s disco, 90s house, and sly pop sensibilities. ... more

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