Chris Root and Brazilian beauty Juju Stulbach have crafted their own brand of intimate, Brazilian-cool indie pop as Undersea Poem, and they are releasing their first album by the same name Apr. 15 in New York.
David Fricke of Rolling Stone has called Undersea Poem’s music “a sweet hybrid of bossa nova hypnosis and indie-pop restraint.”
He also declared vocalist Stulbach “a genuine gift from Ipanema, a Rio de Janeiro native with a voice like warm night air.”
The couple first performed as the Mosquitos, a trio with Jon Marshall Smith. One of their featured songs “Boombox” was picked up by television shows “Nip/Tuck,’ “The O.C.” and “Malcom in the Middle.”
The Mosquitos produced three albums on the Bar/None label before disbanding in 2008.
Philadelphia native Root first laid eyes on Rio de Janeiro beauty Stulbach while she was working on the set of a student film shoot.
They began a courtship that took them to sun-soaked beaches in Mexico and Brazil, which provided the inspiration for their 17-track album.
Root and Stulbach conceived of songs and recorded them “under the stars, in the dusty heat, on the ocean, with animals around.”
“We had guitar, bass, a reverb pedal, coconuts, magic mushrooms,” Root recounts.
An avid surfer, Root describes songwriting like “riding a surfboard.”
In fact, wordless tracks like “Juju’s Theme” grew out of the hours Root spent surfing.
“It was my attempt to recreate the sound of how I feel floating on my surfboard, watching the sun rise or set,” he says.
The album features Michael Leonhart, an extraordinary trumpeter who toured with Steely Dan. He contributes on the tracks “Juju’s Theme,” “Te Encontrar,” and “Ants.”
Brazilian singer Vinicius Cantuaria, and Root’s longtime friend Chuck Treece, a former member of Bad Brains and touring player with Mosquitos, contributed “some of the funkier bass” to the album.
Undersea Poem will host a CD release show at Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY, April 15, at 10pm
Tickets can be purchased at the Joe’s Pub Box Office, online at www.joespub.com or by phone at 212-967-7555.