Origins is a recurring new music feature where artists lay out the songs, places, and experiences that inspired their latest single.
Some sounds are timeless. The way we dance might change, but the rhythms that get feet moving have a way of transcending time and context. With “Balla Balla”, alternative dance outfit Brazilian Girls sought to weave what they describe as the “ballroom atmosphere of the 40s” into the band’s signature electronic sounds. From the swinging, rhythmic drums that kick it off to the vocal loops as frontwoman Sabina Sciubba’s fetching sighs ping off rousing gang vocals, it’s clear that the song aims for nothing higher than a dance floor filled with writhing bodies. Once the song’s twinkling, romantic interlude kicks in roughly halfway through, it’s easy to imagine those swaying figures levitating in slow motion before the thrumming beats usher them back to Earth.
The single is the latest from Let’s Make Love, the geographically disparate band’s fourth album and first LP in a decade. Produced by Frederik Rubens, it was recorded over several years in studios throughout Istanbul, Paris, Madrid, and New York. “Balla Balla” was one of the album’s earliest tracks, though Sciubba and company initially saw it more as a series of fragments than a single song. Once the band found live audiences losing themselves in the song’s rhythms, however, they decided to record it as is.
“As we all live in different countries, we tend to go to studios in the places where we play shows,” Sciubba tells us of the song’s creation. “We recorded the actual [studio] version after having performed it live and noticed that people went crazy dancing. We decided to keep that version, rather than elaborating it more into song shape.”
Give it a listen below.
Let’s Make Love arrives on April 13th via Kartel Music Group/Six Degrees. Pre-orders are ongoing here.
For more on the Origins of “Balla Balla”, the band has shared some dance videos and art pieces that illustrate the mood they wanted the track to strike.
The Movement: Hop and the Jitterbug!
We liked the idea of writing a dance track that combines a ballroom atmosphere of the 40s with our electronic sound.
Nothing mechanic, or cool, but humorous, together. Something like those old videos of people wildly dancing in Harlem.
Berlin in the 30’s:
Didi started the track and sent me the intro and ambiance, a lot of our songs start that way. I came up with a simple phrase and chorus, something to dance to. Then I added the loops for the middle section. Which brought the melody, more lyrical, romantic. Later we worked together on an arrangement at a friends studio MG studios in Madrid. A cool studio on the outskirts of Madrid in a beautiful setting.
The Surreal Life of Man Ray:
The more melodic middle part is a romantic and intimate interlude that would add that sparkle to the moment when people dance together. A romance seen with the eyes of Man Ray.