PREMIERE: The Knocks and Sofi Tukker Return to South America on an Acoustic Bossa Version of “Brazilian Soul”

The New York dance-pop duo rework their New York Narcotic collab with Sofi Tukker in the style of ’70s bossa nova.

While Sofi Tukker and The Knocks are both known for their danceable pop tunes, the pair of duos have teamed up on a project that may seem somewhat outside of their comfort zone: an homage to Brazil’s bossa nova scene of the ’70s. Yet when the groups teamed up earlier this year on “Brazilian Soul,” it became clear that this was far from the case—the track came out impossibly smooth, with Sophie Hawley-Weld’s clean Portuguese in the foreground.

Today, both artists are back with a new acoustic version of the track, stripping it down to the bare essentials. “We knew Sophie is very well versed in and inspired by Brazilian music and culture,” explains The Knocks’ B-roc, “so we wanted to do a version that paid homage to Brazil’s native form of music, bossa nova. We recorded it all on a sunny day in Los Angeles with live guitar, percussion, upright bass, and even threw a cuíca in there to stay true to the region’s sound.”

Listen to the track below, and read Hawley-Weld’s statement on writing “Brazilian Soul” beneath the lyric video.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a strong connection with Brazil. First, I was just singing Brazilian music without understanding what I was saying. Then in college, I studied Portuguese and Brazilian music. When I got a chance to live in Rio, I fell completely in love with the sensual language, the spirit and warmth of the people, and the vibrant musical culture. I wanted to stay and live in Brazil forever. When I left, I continued speaking and singing Portuguese as a way to keep Brazil in my life. I still take every opportunity I can to speak the language. Whenever we go back to Brazil, we always feel especially at home. I really do feel that I have a Brazilian soul. There’s something deep within me that really resonates with the place and the people. It’s so warm and inclusive, so sensual and effusive!

I wrote this song based on a poem that I wrote with my dearest friend in Brazil. I walked into our friends The Knocks’ studio and ended up writing it over the beat they were working on. It was really special because then we got to go to Brazil and shoot the video with my Brazilian community and I got to share the spirit that I love so much with [bandmate Tucker Halpern] during the making of the video. Now watching the video and hearing the song taps me into my Brazilian soul, the one that doesn’t sweat the small things, that revels in community, and delights in music.”

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