The phrase “Brazilian music” tends to evoke thoughts of Joao Gilberto tunes drifting listlessly over the beaches of Ipanema, but Brazil is a massive country with musical interests that travel far from the Copacabana. Take Sexy Fi, for example. The group’s debut full-length, Nunca Te Vi De Boa, was recorded not on a beach, but on a Great Lake. The album was made in Chicago under the watchful eye of John McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea & Cake), which is apt, because the band’s lo-fi sound is more reminiscent of the ’90s indie rock scene than carioca or samba music. On Sexy Fi’s songs, the vocals float over craftily arranged instrumentation that blends feedback, raucous chord progressions and—oddly enough—a very effective clarinet. The result is something that would make a girl from Ipanema swap her bikini for a hoodie and head north.
Listen: “Loro on Loro”