One Track Mind: Brûlée, To a Crisp
Standout Track: No. 1, the poppy "In Defense of a Blue Shower Curtain." It begins with an upright bass riff, gloriously strummed by Andrew Brown, then proceeds to a mellow, jazz-rock groove from guitarist Louis Matza and drummer Lex O’Brien. The hooky chorus—whose key makes an unusual shift downward from the verse—is a plea with the titular curtain for renewal. “Help me wash it away/And help me start a clean new day,” Aura Kanegis sings throatily. “There’s nothing wrong with a true-blue symbol of change.”
Musical Motivation: Matza first wrote the song 10 years ago, when he decided to finally settle into his D.C. apartment after a transient year. The first step was a new, fluorescent blue shower curtain. “Once I installed it, the whole bathroom had this blue glow emanating from it,” he recalls. “It really just changed everything: I built the rest of my apartment, and possibly the rest of my life, around this blue shower curtain.”
Core Couple: Matza (a research psychologist) and Kanegis (a lobbyist for the American Friends Service Committee) are Brûlée’s nucleus, coming together when Kanegis, who is gay, answered Matza’s Craigslist ad for a jazzy singer. His wife wasn’t thrilled at all the beautifully voiced young women coming to see her husband—"but when the tattooed lesbian lobbyist for peace came in, she was much happier," says Matza. "That sealed the deal."
Listen to "In Defense of a Blue Shower Curtain" below.
Brûlée performs tonight at 9 p.m. at Wonderland Ballroom, 1101 Kenyon St. NW.