Bossa Nova literally means “new trend” and so it is. It is kind of Brazillian jazz that gained popularity in 1960s amongst younger listeners. It is a genre that I only recently discovered and have been listening to since. Here are some songs that I think every person who is interested in exploring it must listen to:
There are very few remarkable cover artists these days, as most cover artists do not add value to an already successful song. Nouvelle Vague means “new wave” in French, and they have covered punk-rock and new wave music into a bossa nova style. They have had various lead singers over the years and those individuals have also made it on their own as solo singers, but the band has created exceptional music along the way.
Songs to listen to: Ever fallen in Love [originally by Buzzcocks], Heart of Glass [originally by Blondie]
Hollywood, Mon Amour
Hollywood, Mon amour is also a French band that is almost identical to Nouvelle Vague. They, like Nouvelle Vague, cover popular new wave music, and enrich them with a bossa nova experience.
Songs to listen to: Together in Electric Dreams [originally by Phillip Oakey], Call me [originally by Blondie]
Beth Rowley – You got me wrapped around your little finger:
This song is the typical jazzy love song, but Beth Rowley has a much more raw voice than most jazz singers. It is a short song, and not nearly as lyrically terrific as I generally prefer, but it is one that is definitely worth listening to.
Coralie Clement – L’ombre et la lumiere
The name of the song means “Shadow and Light” and even though it is in French, its translation is the most pleasurable to read. The song is classic bossa nova style, mixing samba and jazz to create a song rich in beats and smooth saxophonist sounds alike.
Dee Dee Bridgewater – J’ai Deux Amours
This song has more French elements than pure bossa nova style, but it had to be a part of this list as a change in an otherwise similar list. Dee Dee Bridgewater has a strong, sensual voice, and reminded me subtly of a singer much like her – Nina Simone.
Girl from Ipanema – Astrud Gilberto
This is one of my favourite songs in the list, and also the most popular. Astrud Gilberto has a whole identity built around this song, and she became famous because of it. The song won a Grammy in 1964 for the Best Song of the Year. It has since featured in many films, and has been covered enough number of times. In addition to that, it has been the typically been said to be default elevator music.