I first heard the mellifluous, creamy voice of Zoe Scott in late 2020 when Angry Baby featured a couple of her Christmas songs in our annual Christmas round up. Since then, I’ve now had the pleasure of listening to Zoe in the style of Bossa Nova (born from a marriage of Jazz and Samba, and sometimes called “Brazilian Jazz”), with her 2020 album, Shades of Love – and let’s face it, February is the perfect time to discover new songs about love!
Of Bossa Nova, Zoe says
When I first heard Antonio Carlos Jobim, I was swept away. I felt his soul through his music; through Bossa Nova and that was it. I had to make this album.
Each of the twelve songs on Shades of Love is a chapter in Zoe’s life book, and an expression of what she calls, “feeling in.” To enhance this sound and feeling, Zoe enlisted the talents of Bossa Nova legends, guitarist-arranger Torcuato Mariano, and Daniel Jobim, grandson of Antonio Carlos Jobim. Daniel is a featured performer on two of his grandfather’s most iconic songs; duetting with Zoe on ‘Wave,’ and playing piano on ‘Quiet Nights.’ Both these songs showcase Zoe’s wonderfully smooth, caramel like vocals and create a light touch that is maintained throughout. The duet on ‘Wave’ adds that extra special zing.
The song that spoke to me most, is Zé Ricardo’s ‘7 Lives,’ featuring the clarinet of Rodrigo Sha, which serves as a love letter to John, Zoe’s partner of seven years. Zoe says
This song is dear to me. It’s the first time it’s been translated into English, and it’s got a gorgeous backstory. On Zé’s seventh wedding anniversary, he was so broke, he sat down on the side of the street and wrote ‘7 Lives’ for his wife before going home. That was his gift to her. My heart melted when I heard this — I asked permission to translate and record it, and have dedicated it to the man I love. I just think it’s so beautiful and romantic.
‘I’ll Stand By You,’ is another stand out, retaining enough of the original to be recognisable, the addition of Bossa Nova rhythms brings the song to a new life. The same can be said of ‘The More I See You,’ and ‘My Cherie Amour,’ released as a single for Valentine’s Day. The album closes with ‘You Know I’m No Good,‘ by Amy Winehouse and is the best Amy Winehouse cover I’ve heard.
Shades of Love is an album drawing the listener to the warmth of romance, love, and compassion and curates Zoe’s journey from performing original indie rock to Bossa Nova covers – you would never know she hasn’t been performing this style for years.
Zoe’s advice to aspiring musicians connects the personal and practical with the music:
Find your passion or your bliss as a musician, follow it where it ever it takes you. I’ve been on an amazing Journey as a musician to Los Angeles and the rock world , out to the Mojave desert, lived in a cave to write my first album, to Rio to record Bossa Nova.
Don’t give your power away and think someone’s gonna make you a star. Every time you give your power away you’ll lose. It will be hard work and growth but go for it.
Make good, authentic, long term relations.
Shades of Love was released in 2020. Get your copy here.
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