Written by Maria Arroyo
The vibey, dream-pop duo of Brijean, featuring the Oakland-based Brijean Murphy and Doug Stuart, recently released their album, Feelings, out via Ghostly International.
Their signature sound of “golden-hued dream pop tropicalia of dazzling beats and honeyed vocals” is at the heart of their newest release.
Feelings is their manifestation of a “gentle collective space for respite, for self-reflection, for self-care, for uninhibited imagination and new possibilities.”
Murphy describes Feelings as a project that “romanticizes the psyche.”
“Feelings simply wants us to feel alive. The songs radiate in wonderful abandon and with a sense of devotion to the self.”
Their opening track, “Day Dreaming,” radiates exactly what it sounds like. This is achieved with their use of reverb-soaked vocals and washy instrumentation. The vocals in particular, add a ton of life and vibrancy to the album. It’s the perfect mix of psychedelic and shoegaze vibes to make you want to relax the rest of the day. Brijean also has a music video to go along with “Day Dreaming,” so be sure to check that out below.
“A lot of the ‘love songs’ I write are to my psyche,” she explains. “Self-reflections on how to encourage tender perspectives and make more time for the sweet stuff.” Bringing this idea to the surface is their single “Wifi Beach.” The funky beat that drives this song is insanely infectious and is a huge turnaround sound wise from the previous song. But hey, they are keeping it exciting so no one is complaining here!
As the title for the album, I expect their sound to be as exploited in that single as possible, and they did that really well. “Feelings” is a perfect mix of their staple sound, without being overly predictable. Everything from the driving rhythm section to the incredibly-executed vocals just screams Brijean!
Another great single is “Ocean,” which is an elegantly beautiful listen. There’s a bit of an edge to keep it from being too relaxed, but it’s ever-evolving and it continues to pace with the energy they create in the other songs.
“‘Ocean’ reflects on uncertainty while maintaining curiosity,” says Brijean. “Written as an inquiry into self-reflection, the dimensions of love for another person and humanity’s capacity for health. Around the time we wrote the song, we were listening to a lot of Jobim and wanted to channel some of the serenity his music gives us.”
Flatspot, the director for the “Oceans” music video, shares that “Various methods of video feedback and modular video synthesis were utilized to manipulate the footage captured by Brijean and Doug. We decided on a black and white treatment of the footage, contrasting with selective coloring and unusually cropping of the clips to evoke a dreamlike sequence, bringing the ocean to the desert.” You can enjoy their music video for “Oceans” below.
Bringing a darker side of their musical creativity is “Paradise.” It’s such a turnaround from the other songs, but in such an interesting way. Finally, their closing track “Moody,” is the perfect staple for closing the album out to. The lyrics are interesting, but compelling, and I just think they really knocked this one out of the park! Give a listen to their KNOCKOUT closer “Moody” below.
“We want you to move, physically, mentally, dimensionally; this is dance music for the mind, body, and soul,” Brijean shares. Feelings is such a beautifully done record, and I am so amazed by the incredibly larger than life sound they were able to create between the two of them.
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