Even though it lasted only a handful of years, Tropicália was one of the most vibrant and colorful musical movements to ever come out of South America, combining American contemporary music with Brazil’s own traditional rhythms and folklore. This playlist addresses not Tropicália itself, but its aftermath and the long-lasting impact its philosophy and aesthetics had on the country’s music.
1. Marcos Valle – ‘Wanda Vidal’
The sunkissed carioca singer-songwriter and an irresistible, groovy upbeat number with an infectious call-and-response chorus.
2. Gal Costa – ‘Pontos de Luz’
A mean, lean funk machine with superb instrumentation that goes hand in hand with Gal’s optimistic lyrics.
3. Jorge Ben Jor – ‘Errare Humanum Est’
Ben Jor goes full-blown Chariots of the Gods? truther on this delightful psychedelic folk gem from his esoteric classic LP, ‘A Tabúa de Esmeralda’.
4. Arthur Verocai – ‘Dedicada a Ela’
What better way to get over heartbreak than to write a jazzy tune with exquisite arrangements?
5. Gilberto Gil – ‘Refavela’
A percussive tune that connects the dots between Brazilian popular music and its African roots, largely inspired by Gil’s trip to Nigeria during the 1970s.
6. Caetano Veloso – ‘Guá’
A delicious minimalist tune from Caetano, featuring skeletal instrumentation and tribal chants.
7. Novos Baianos – ‘Preta Pretinha’
With its laid-back, Sunday morning vibes, and its heartwarming buildup, ‘Preta Pretinha’ seamlessly amalgamates pop music with Brazilian folklore.
8. Erasmo Carlos – ‘Masculino, Femenino’
A swooning duet between Marisa Fossa and Erasmo Carlos, who, for all we know, might as well be Lee Hazlewood’s Brazilian doppelganger.
9. Clube da Esquina – ‘Nuvem Cigana’
Echoing the Beatles circa Sergeant Pepper with its kaleidoscopic arrangements, ‘Nuvem Cigana’ is a baroque piece of chamber pop music whose vocal melody will stay with you whether you want it to or not.
10. Nelson Angelo & Joyce – ‘Um Gosto de Fruta’
A product of their first and only musical lovechild, Nelson Angelo & Joyce grace us with a bucolic folk song with haunting vocals that flirts with the darker side of psychedelia.
11. Raul Seixas – ‘Mosca Na Sopa’
With its contagious, percussive groove and its buzzing synth flourishes, this excellent track swings effortlessly back and forth between traditional Brazilian music and a straightforward rock ‘n’ roll beat.
12. Secos e Molhados – ‘Amor’
A proggy jam, with a killer bass line and singer Ney Matogrosso’s countertenor voice as the most obvious standouts.