Cinema Novo began as a recording project of Christopher Richardson. Later, after several years of writing and recording arrangements for a large band proved unfruitful, drummer Shawn Moeckly was enlisted to aid in stripping down an original collection of songs to be recorded and performed as a duo, pairing high energy and bombastic drums with frantic and latin-tinged guitar. The songs on their self-titled EP were almost 5 years in the making, and according to Moeckly were very close to never leaving the confines of a hard drive.
Being significantly influenced by film, the band's name is borrowed from the 1960s Brazilian film movement of the same name, which with its common themes of populism, violence, exploitation, and political realism, embodied the imagery of the band's music. For Christopher, director Glauber Rocha's famous phrase "an idea in your head and a camera in hand," translated to "ideas in your head and a guitar in hand," as he pushed the duo to do more with less, overcome obstacles, and create a series of "scenes" using sound.
Together, they work hard to blend chewed-up garage rock, latin rhythms, and psychedelic ambience to form an intricate two-man mutiny.