You don’t have to fly all the way to Rio to get a flavour of Brazil this summer. Just grab a bottle of Brahma beer from the fridge and settle back with the chilled-out vibes of Bebel Gilberto.
Bebel’s sublime Tanto Tempo is a great place to start. Recorded in 2000 and sung in a mixture of Portuguese and English, this album has become a classic of the bossa nova style. Eleven standout tracks, including Samba da Benção, August Day Song and Close Your Eyes, evoke heady nights spent dancing and drinking caipirinhas in a Copacabana beach-front bar.
More music to get you in the mood for the football:
Aquarela do Brasil – the quintessential Brazilian song; recorded by numerous artists over the years
Mas que nada – Sérgio Mendes
The girl from Ipanema – Astrud Gilberto ft. Stan Getz
Flying down to Rio – Fred Astaire
Copacabana – Barry Manilow
Next Stop Wonderland – soundtrack from the 1998 indie flick of the same name (which is well worth a watch, by the way)
However, be sure to give the officially dire 2014 FIFA World Cup anthem by J-Lo and Pitbull an extremely wide berth. Ditto any track that features ‘singing’ footballers…