Brazil has a long, rich history of psychedelic rock. It began in the ‘60s with artists on the more avant-garde side of the Tropicalia movement, which was a fusion of traditional styles like bossa nova and samba with more modern, Western sounds like baroque pop and rock. Artists like Os Mutantes and Caetano Veloso were fascinated with The Beatles’ late-career albums, and managed to create a fascinating blend of the music of their homeland and the sounds that were dominating radios across the world at the time.
Boogarins are the latest torchbearers of this legacy, although you won’t find too many traditionally Brazilian signifiers in their music. They’re more on the Tame Impala end of the spectrum of psych-rock, where experimentation has been phased out for lush soundscapes, hip-hop-influenced beats, and dreamy vocals. “A Pattern Repeated On” (which, coincidentally, could describe the cover of Tame Impala’s first album) is their latest song, and accompanied by a colorful, VHS-distorted video, it’s quite the trip.
The song features American indie rock veteran John Schmersal on guest vocals, and is the first that Boogarins have recorded with their new drummer, Ynaiã Benthroldo. Their contributions are evident from the get-go, as Benthroldo backs the track with a strong groove, sounding like a breakbeat in slow motion, and Schmersal’s airy, nasal voice guide the song’s melody with a vocal part that’s much more in the forefront than those on most past Boogarins tracks. About a third of the way through, “A Pattern Repeated On” sheds its locked-in groove and blasts off to other realms, the group’s guitar soloing accompanied by a krautrock-style beat.
Boogarins haven’t yet announced a follow-up album to 2015’s Manual ou Guia Livre de Dissolução dos Sonhos, but they’re heading out on an extensive tour this summer. Speaking from experience, you don’t want to miss their live show. The “Pattern Repeated On” gives a pretty good idea of what to expect from their audio/visual offerings, but experienced in person, it’s a great deal more overwhelming.