The World Cup starts this week in Brazil (finally!), and there’s lots of music to go with it. But this week’s Music Monday recommendation won’t include any official (or unofficial) songs by Shakira, Pitbull, or J.Lo. Instead, I’ll point you to the 2007 self-titled debut by Brazilian singer/songwriter Céu (listen on Rdio or Spotify). Standout track: “Roda”:

If you watch much World Cup action, especially any games featuring the Brazil national team, you’ll probably see fans in stereotypical Brazilian get-ups (women in bikinis and big Carnival headdresses, etc.). This beautiful, down-tempo, tropical music is a good counterbalance to that one-dimensional view of the fifth largest country in the world. Yes, the lyrics are in Portuguese; no, you don’t have to understand a scrap of it to enjoy this trip to the Southern Hemisphere. So while you’re waiting for the next match to start, mute ESPN, make yourself a cold caipirinha, and put on Céu. Saude!


P.S. Okay, okay, if you still want some Shakira in your 2014 World Cup, and who can blame you, there’s always La La La.