Alagoas was born on a gray winter day in Brooklyn in 2009, the unintentional creation of husband and wife Wilson and Katherine Brown. The pair created their first song that morning, using just an old police dispatch microphone and a Moog synthesizer, and found harmony in their surprising collaboration. That track, “Spiderhands,” became the first of many. Along with collaborator Stuart Bidwell, the duo began collecting songs over the course of the next few years, crafted both in Brooklyn and Sao Paulo, Brazil. The musicians, all pursuing disparate careers outside of the band, filled their free time with songwriting.
By the spring 2013, the trio had recorded enough songs for an album, each song connected by an overall thematic thread. “We wanted to create an album that was both familiar and new, poppy and out-there, visceral and complex,” Katherine says. “For us, this music is about being our authentic selves. The album expanded song by song, with each one exploring a different simple idea. Behind every track there is a nostalgia for adventures in relationships and in growing up. In some, there is a reminiscing about the past, about childhood or what it was like when things were new, while at others it's about lingering in a moment or reflecting on a perceptual experience that's already passing us by.”
The group, who initially began performing shows around New York City under the name Bird Alert, is interested in balancing the profound with the whimsical. This aesthetic resonates through the album, as well as the disc’s initial singles, which will precede the album release in late 2013. The first single, “Ghosts,” written while Katherine and Wilson were traveling across Spain, is centered in the concept of movement, of people spreading across a country, and finds a unique quality in its unconventional rhythmic structure. “Brighton” is a love story, following a couple who meets, faces the challenges of life and eventually finds peace.
“These two singles set the range of possibilities on the forthcoming album,” Wilson says. “There’s acoustic elements and electronic elements in all of the songs, and these set you up for what’s to come. Overall there’s an intimacy to the that Katherine, Stuart and I made. The songs feel very unified in terms of their content and the process of creating them together. I also think the male and female vocals come across as one unified voice rather than a duet, which is unique to our music.”
The album, which was mixed by Andy Baldwin and mastered by Heba Kadry, will follow the singles in early 2014 and Alagoas plans to unveil several music videos to accompany the songs. The band will also continue performing the songs live, an experience that elevates the tracks with the help of additional onstage musicians. For the musicians, the ultimate goal is to convey meaningful songs that reflect the genuine, impassioned way they were created.
“The process of writing, performing, and producing was a real joy for us,” Katherine says. “We think and hope that listeners can feel that in the music and through it find their own meaning and nostalgic moments to dwell in, putting them in an emotional place where they're ready to go out and find new magical adventures in their daily lives.”