Chansons Nouveau: Take II

Prelude: Yeah, I am writing this one out, even though all around me people are dressing up in their sparkling best and jostling each other in the streets. And if you are one of them fussy people (like we are) who will, on principle, only drive around, chances are you will end up seeing more flashy glittery throngs of enthusiastic hoppers than “pandals” and idols. And you will be back home before it’s too late, with all the time in the world to do more un-festive like stuff. Like I am doing right now.

Picking up from where I last left off, and with more enthusiasm than what I started with (honest!), here goes this week’s picks. From Pakistani to the more predictable English to German, this one has it all.

Khairheyan De Naal (Shafqat Amanat Ali): This one is another one of those gems that BIL had mailed to me, and I remember pausing midway in a sentence when I started listening to it. And I couldn’t stop listening to it. Although the lyrics is not something I could relate to at this point (he begs not to be sent to some foreign land because his love is out here, while I would fly away to Vietnam at the drop of a hat), I stayed up awake with this song on repeat. And since then this is the song that I have been humming all the time even though it’s been a week now. Love the classical touch that Shafqat flirts with oh-so-perfectly with his honeyed voice. And while at it, I should mention Shafqat’s Mahiya , which is another b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l song that somehow makes me a little sad. Both definitely worth a listen. Or two. Or umpteen, which it is in my case.

Paimona (Zeb and Haniya): I’d have loved to tell you how I discovered this one, but that would mean I would have to explain just how my mind works when it comes to music, which, if I may say so myself, can’t be put in a few words. So let’s just say I discovered this song. And how! I was hooked to the Rubab piece that opens the song, and then to the language of the song, which is a mix of Farsi (Persian) and Pashto (Afghani), and sounded just the right amount of mysterious to be beautiful. The song in itself is quite simple, has very simple notes, and is very “hummable”, if only you “get” the beats and the lyrics. Both are tricky. “Nazar Eyle” and “Chal Diye” are two of my Zeb and Haniya favorites after Paimona.

Done with the Pakistani, moving on to the English.

Stitching Leggings (Kate Nash): Before I discovered this song, the only Kate Nash I had heard was “Pumpkin Soup” and I had found it pretty interesting. But Kate Nash earned my Leo loyalty right after I heard Stitching Leggings. And everything in it can be summed up in the one line that I keep waiting for: “At least I’m lucky that I don’t have all the power in the world so I can’t fuck everything else up” which she sings in one breath (took me sometime and then Google to realize just what it is that she sings). The song in itself is quite nice and easy, as is another of my Kate Nash favorites, “Foundations“. The sucker for good lyrics that I am, it just doesn’t get any better than Kate Nash. Her songs are funny laced with weird, and leave me smiling each time I hear them.

King Of Anything (Sara Bareilles): Just a month ago I had compiled a playlist called “It’s A Woman’s World” for Fried Eye, which included almost all the so called women-empowering songs that I had known. And this one would have made it there if only I had heard it before. Sara Bareilles had a fan in me right after I had listened to “Gravity” (and also watched the dance sequence in So You Think You Can Dance some seasons back; don’t remember) and “Love Song” but King Of Anything is something I would love to sing over and over again. Love the bit where she goes “Who cares, if you disagree; You are not me; Who made you king of anything?“. This is signature Sara Bareilles, and you will like it if you like prominent piano chords and easy beats.

And I mentioned German didn’t I? Ah, this is like saving the best for the last, yet again.

Rette Mich (Nena): Cut to last year around this time, when the one song I would keep mumbling was “99 Luftballons” (meaning 99 Red Balloons), since I didn’t have the capacity to really sing it, the song being German. There is also an English version of it, but for me it isn’t just quite the same. And so a random search on Nena led me to Rette Mich, which has quite conveniently replaced 99 Luftballons for me now. Rette Mich means “Save Me” and the song is about a girl who’s stuck in a hotel room in the night and is asking her guy to help her and save her from the loneliness, which can’t be cured by any amount of video cassettes and discs. The beat is peppy and fast and there’s a lot of “dhink-chik-dhink-chik” if you know what I mean. But it is a happy song, even if it is about loneliness. The tone which starts the song has got a little addictive for me now and I find myself humming it at odd hours. And while at it, “Kino” and “Leuchtturm” are another couple of songs by Nena I really dig.

That just about covers it for now I guess. Have been listening to music like a maniac the last week, starting from Sufi to Rubab instrumentals to Scottish Bagpipes. Few other songs I have just discovered are “Naya Jahan” (Anaida feat Noori; from her album with the same name), Shafqat’s “Aankhon Kay Sagar” and just yesterday I started listening to A.R. Rahman’s latest “Jhootha Hi Sahi“. But more on that in the next post. Let’s see how well they settle in my system.


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