A few summers ago, I bought a used copy of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Stone Flower on CD. The 1970 album features the most sublime trombone ever recorded and an epically cool “Brazil.” I can’t listen to it without smiling, and for some reason it makes me think of red Vespas, which also make me smile. Bossa nova remains romantic as cultural depictions of falling in love get worse and worse. I know people dislike Valentine’s Day, and of course it’s a little contrived, but so’s Thanksgiving, and everyone likes that. Romantic love might be the most overrated kind, “an illusion to secure mothers for the race,” in the words of Kate Chopin, but as human experiences go, it’s right up there. Valentine’s Day strikes people as flimsy, overcooked, inauthentic. This year for example, 50 Shades of Grey is supposed to be romantic.
Give me the bossa nova. There’s a real mystery, not just because it’s in Portuguese, but because of that beat, those sounds.
We’ve recorded a song Mariel wrote, coincidentally titled “Valentine.”
It’s our indie rock take on bossa nova. That’s Jake Canter on the bass.
We are not the first Tennesseeans to love Bossa Nova:
Happy Valentine’s Day to Andie and Ralph, who like this song, and to Nate and Candace who got engaged on Valentine’s Day, both happily married couples.