Do a search for Canadian indie-rockers Bossanova on the internet, and chances are, you won’t find very much. After trawling through the numerous websites dedicated to the Brazilian ‘Bossa Nova’ genre, you’ll finally come across the band’s official website; consisting of a logo, their Myspace address, and a link to Washington DC label, Teenbeat.
*Note: this is an old review, originally published on the Big Yawn music website in 2006*
Yet whilst the band themselves maybe as elusive as Bigfoot, their debut album Hey, Sugar, is an unmistakable, universal sound recognised the world over.
Whilst references to the likes of New Order and Joy Division’s Ian Curtis are unavoidable, there’s something more to this album that makes it one of the freshest LPs of the year.
Add the darkness of Interpol, sniping guitar reminiscent of The Strokes, and even a nod towards the aforementioned ‘Bossa Nova’ genre and cool jazz, and you’ve got something that’s both exciting and melancholic, breezy and brooding, fun and sad.
Opening up at snails’ pace with In the Immortal Words Of You, and closing with the same on Lullaby, Bossanova rarely put the pedal to the metal. Instead, they choose to cruise down an open highway with the top pulled down in a light breeze on a summer’s day. Though, as with all good albums, there’s an exception here on Hey, Sugar, in the form of ‘Rare Brazil’, a definite dancefloor-filler with a seriously groovy bassline and some trigger-happy high-hats.
Yet that’s not to say the rest of the album won’t make you feel like cutting a proverbial rug, as the likes of Cavalry, with its funky piano and bouncing guitar, bop along with the kind of euphoria usually experienced on a Friday night at your local indie club.
Which is exactly where these tunes are likely to end up. For whilst Bossanova, featuring members of The New Pornographers and Black Mountain, are currently reveling in their own obscurity, with songs this good, it’s going to be pretty hard to escape the army of fans that are sure to flock their way.
Bossanova -Hey, Sugar
Sounds like: indie-rock.