Oakland-based dance-music duo Brijean, i.e. Brijean Murphy and Doug Stuart, have shared another preview of their debut album Feelings, one of Paste’s most-anticipated releases of this month.
The fourth single from Feelings after “Ocean,” “Day Dreaming” and “Moody,” “Hey Boy” is a characteristically dreamy dance-pop valentine, in which Murphy urges the listener to follow their bliss (“Hey, that feels good, it must be right,” she sings) over hand percussion and laidback keys. Murphy describes the song as a “psychedelic guide—the exploration of finding what feels good—through sorrow, anxiety, apathy.”
The track is accompanied by a video directed and illustrated by Murphy herself, also a visual artist, whose evocative drawings—a snake chomping into an apple, dice tumbling—are brought to life by animator Rose Biehl and producer Samantha Sartor.
Murphy had this to say of the video’s making:
My visual art style really developed when I began making hand-drawn flyers for a nightclub in Oakland. I hosted a recurring jazz night every Tuesday for a few years. The bands were always amorphous and always centered around percussion. That left a lot of elasticity in the genre—the musicians were often rooted in different cultural and musical backgrounds (Salsa, Gospel, Blues, Hip Hop, etc.)—and in turn, that attracted a wide range of dancers and drinkers to fill the space. This music video is a homage to that club and its people, infused with some psychedelic and cheeky moments.
The idea of shared experience, though a virtual reality, had shifted my perspective of shared space, which informs the visuals. Seemingly isolated dancers move within the compartmentalized windows and grids of a surreal technicolor world. We’ve all found ourselves here in this time, sorting through complicated information and synthesizing our inherited and undulating present. For me, I’ve found comfort and inspiration in tethering to the playful stuff.
Her work with Brijean finds Murphy branching out after making her name as an in-demand percussionist for acts including Poolside, Toro Y Moi and U.S. Girls. She and Stuart started collaborating in 2018, bonding over their shared jazz, Latin and soul music backgrounds, and releasing their debut EP/mini-album Walkie Talkie in 2019 on Native Cat Recordings. Now, Feelings finds Murphy moving into the spotlight and claiming the confidence that comes with it: “Valuing myself as elemental instead of an ‘aux’ percussionist, and the undoubted support and talents of Doug, encouraged me to both make this project and collaborate with many different people,” she explains.
Watch the “Hey Boy” video below, or stream the track right here. Feelings is out on Feb. 26 via Ghostly International.