Alexia Bomtempo Illuminates American Classics With A Brazilian Flare

Few genres are as alluring as bossa nova. With its jazzy spirit, smoky atmosphere and rhythmic brilliance, the bossa nova sound is as instantly recognizable as it is instantly enjoyed. While you may not see a whole lot of bossa nova music coming out of the United States… it’s certainly there, hanging out in the clubs and circles of its devotees.

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One such devotee who is pushing bossa nova into the future is the Brazilian-American artist, Alexia Bomtempo. A talented vocalist and writer, Bomtempo recently released a new record, Suspiro, on April 24 via Ropeadope. The record is an exploratory journey into Bomtempo’s American disposition and bossa nova roots and features a blend of Bomtempo’s originals, bossa nova standards and hidden gems from the classic American songbook. Of those hidden gems is a blissful and tranquil version of Peggy Lee’s “I’m in Love Again.”

“While gathering material for Suspiro, I was inspired to revisit a more obscure, lesser-known selection of the American Songbook,” Bomtempo told American Songwriter. “Though ‘I’m in Love Again’ has been recorded as a ballad by such luminaries as Tony Bennett and Peggy Lee, we decided to go with a more Brazilian interpretation. The whole idea behind this album was to do everything live, in the spirit of the old recordings that I love, with the musicians playing at the same time. The arrangement was done on the spot, so there is this fresh element to the track that you can feel. This felt like the perfect opening track for the album, inviting the listener into this world of falling in love again with whatever may be worth falling in love with at the time. There is always something to rediscover — for me, it was bossa nova.”

Bomtempo, keenly aware of the transportive qualities of the genre, advocates that “the world needs more bossa nova.”

“I feel that this recording is quite transportive and has the ability to take the listeners on a journey to a gentle and serene place — a welcome departure from where most of the world finds itself right now, as many are still choosing or required to be inside for the time being,” Bomtempo said. “We may all hope and learn to fall in love again with the new normal of everyday life that lies ahead, as challenging as it may be.”

Listen to Alexia Bomtempo’s version of “I’m in Love Again” below:

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