Garota Moderna

A young Brazilian chanteuse performing standard bossa nova repertoire is nothing new.

A young Brazilian chanteuse performing standard bossa nova repertoire is nothing new. What sets Rosalia de Souza apart is that she has gone looking for her roots in another country: Italy. In the process, her musical origins receive the revamping of a lifetime, with irresistible swing and a unique sense of style. De Souza has the breathy, sexy voice suited for this repertoire, but she increases the emotion level a notch, taking it beyond the usual nonchalant interpretation. Accompanied by mostly Italian musicians, she performs nearly all of the material at a fast clip, propelled by effortless, almost airy percussion. Beyond the standards, about half of the collection is original material, much of it penned by de Souza and producer/DJ Nicola Conte. The content ranges from jazzy—"Zona Sul," which features a lengthy piano solo—to the rhythmic play of "Tempo Futuro" and the trance-like ambience of "Samba Novo." Throughout, "Garota Moderna" is a delight to listen to.—LC