Boogarins are a Brazilian duo named after a Jasmine flower that is said to “smell like pure love.” Their debut, As Plantas Que Curam, which translates to Plants That Heal, is a psychedelic masterpiece, a blossom plucked from the summer of love. With a catchy repeating run of fuzz guitar similar to Tomorrow’s “My White Bicycle” and lyrics of love, LSD, and ‘69, the opening track “Lucifernandis” lets you know that there is some time travel involved with this album. Classic sounds, tones, scales, and effects from the psychedelic era are deconstructed and re-imagined into wholly new songs that are at once familiar and original.
Call Plantas Que Curan an homage not derivative, as many other psychedelic influences surface on the disc. It is somewhat reminiscent of Brian Wilson’s Smile with its many layers and use of interesting and unconventional sounds. This is best exemplified in “Cancao Perdida,” a short piece consisting of suburban white noise and backyard recordings of songbirds with a bright little guitar lead throughout. “Despreocupar” is a rough-hewn jug band ditty, complete with whistle solo, that wouldn’t be out of place on a Country Joe & The Fish album.
But the two main influences are undeniably Brazilian psychedelic legends Os Mutantes and the Beatles. Hints of both are everywhere on the album, particularly in the lazy, middle-eastern tinged “Hoje Aprendi de Verdade” and “Paul,” a Sgt. Pepper-esque tribute to Paul McCartney. While the Boogarins are an obvious throwback to a bygone era, they have crafted a wonderful psychedelic album for this century and have as much in common with Jake Bugg and Mahogany Frog as they do with the Beatles and Os Mutantes. (Fat Possum, boogarins.com) Broose Tulloch