Band of the Day

2011.09.24

CSS

Sassy Brazilian dance-rock that will keep the party going
From all the jobs, the one I choose is music. From all the drinks, I get drunk off music.
lyrics from Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex

Cansei de Ser Sexy, or "CSS" as they are better known, is a new rave band from Sao Paulo, Brazil that formed in 2003. Their name, which translates to "Tired of Being Sexy" in English, comes from a famous quote by R&B singer Beyoncé. The group's current lineup consists of Lovefoxxx (vocals), Ana Rezende (guitars, keys), Carolina Parra (guitars, drums, backing vocals), Luiza Sa (guitars, keyboards) and Adriano Cintra (bass, backing vocals). Ripe with keyboards, funky basslines and dance beats, CSS has made a splash in the music scene as forerunners of the new rave movement in the early 2000s. Their sound has been compared to the likes of classic '70s and '80s post-punk groups such as the Tom Tom Club, the Fall, Kraftwerk and Gang of Four. CSS has released a number of albums, singles and remixes since their 2004 debut single Let's Make Love and Listen to Death from Above. Their 2005 self-titled LP, released by Trama in Brazil and Sub Pop internationally, charted at #69 in the UK and was followed by a world tour. Their sophomore album Donkey, also released on Sub Pop, charted at #32 in the UK and #189 in the US, while their third LP La Liberacion was released in August 2011 on Cooperative Music Records.

Five years since their self-titled debut album, and Brazilian dance-rockers CSS are still keeping the party going with their third album, La Liberación. Short for Cansei de Ser Sexy (or Portuguese for “Tired of Being Sexy”), CSS have continued to make the same brand of upbeat-yet-provocative music. Yet there's a noticeable maturity, both in the sound and lyrics, compared to their previous hits like “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex” and “Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above.” “Partners In Crime,” for instance, features legendary American pianist Mike Garson, who's played with the likes of David Bowie, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Nine Inch Nails. This lovely piano-driven ballad is a refreshingly different direction from their usual brand of sarcastic dance-rock. While CSS primarily sing in English, with occasional flourishes of their native Portuguese, the album's title track is their first song in Spanish. Alongside sharing a name with the Women's Liberation Movement in Latin America, the song has a punky, 90s riot grrl feel—a nod to pioneers of this underground feminist punk movement, like Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney. New York electro-duo Ratatat make a guest appearance on “Red Alert,” which starts out with light keys underscoring distorted and distant vocals. But suddenly it builds up into a double dutch-like rhythm, with lead singer Lovefoxxx declaring, “I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go!” Featuring a duet with Primal Scream's lead singer Bobby Gillespie, “Hits Me Like A Rock” is the stand-out track on the album. It has a breezy, 80s-like synth groove that works well with both Lovefoxxx's sassy Brazilian accent, and Gillespie's distinctly British one. Lyrically, it's about music marking particular times of your life, and the memories that come flooding in when you hear that one special song. Though CSS have a more mature album with La Liberación, they've managed to maintain that same sense of fun and a devil-may-care attitude that first brought their dance floor-ready anthems across international waters.