Marisa Monte was huge in the nineties and, I think, even made a little headway in the states. But I don't think she ever released an English album (if I'm wrong, and you know, please correct me). Good for her, but of course Americans are less tolerant of foreign languages that just about everyone else (I hear American and British music here almost nonstop, and not many here know what the lyrics mean).
This is one of my favorite Monte songs:
Cordel de Fogo Encantado began in the late nineties and is now one of the biggest indie acts in the country. (The link to Cordel will help you with a translation of that word, which really has no equivalent in English for the meaning used by the band.) I listened to an entire album a few weeks ago with my sister-in-law. The first comparison that came to mind was Neutral Milk Hotel, but only because I was getting a sense that the lyrics were legend-building the same way the Hotel's are. Well, see for yourself:
Here is a fan video of "The Kind of Carrot Flowers Part 1" by Neutral Milk Hotel. I think it's the guitar sound that sparked my comparison.