It's once again time for the Firstpost Playlist. From Indie music to Japanese hip and hop and Atif Aslam, we have a mixed bag of songs to make you groove throughout the weekend.
Moko kahaan dhunde re bande by Maati Baani feat. various artists - The Music Yantra
Maati Baani, a two-member indie band is renowned for its Indian classical fusion music and collaborations with eclectic group of artists from around the globe. For this Women's day, Maati Baani made a special composition, by adding a rock twist to Saint Kabir's poem, Moko Kahaan Dhunde Re Bande. What's mind blowing about this song is the musical treatment given by talented women musicians from India, USA, Germany and Brazil, who apparently have never met one another!
Apart from your bass and electric guitars, drums, violins, we are also treated to wonderful Tar (a sitar-like long-necked stringed instrument from Iran) rendition by Sahba Motallebi. The Tar and violin segments effortlessly balance out the western musical influences provided by the electric and bass guitars along with drums. Lari Basilio's electric guitar solo from 3.38 to 3.58 is pure eargasm! There's also a seamless dissolution of each instrument into the other, all held together by Nirali's vocals. Definitely a song which you would like to keep on loop this weekend.
- Nimish Sawant
Boys playing Airplanes' by James Horner
Childhood is a much favoured theme for expression of art, a sublime musical example of this being the opening background theme for the film The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. True to its title Boys playing Airplanes, we hear the notes of the piano glide and swirl, conjuring up images of kids finding happiness in flights of fantasy. James Horner's Boys playing Airplanes is a wistful expression of childhood, without self-consciously emphasising the innocence which is a prelude to the dark theme of the film.
- Neerad Pandharipande
Hotline Bling by SRNO
"Eargasm" "My ears feel like they just got baptized" "The bass just...like...goes through your soul."
These are just some of the comments on this fantastically chill cover of Drake's viral song Hotline Bling. It's put together by Amsterdam based electronic artist SRNO, with vocals (we are guessing) by internet sensation, and cover-queen Daniela Andrade (If you're a fan of deconstructed covers, check out her Youtube channel, thank us later). Every second of this (really short) 2-minute something song pure bliss. The bass plays hide and seek with you, while Andrade's vocals completely transform an otherwise monotonous melody into something so layered, you'll wonder how Hotline Bling could sound so amazing.
More like, Hotline Damn!
- Swetha Ramakrishnan
I'm A Bird by Marco Z
If you ever need a song that makes you feel actually, literally light try I’m a Bird by Marco Z. The soft, indie rock tunes will automatically make you feel chirpy (pun intended.)
This is the single that brought Belgian singer-songwriter Mark Zanetton, better known as Marco Z, into the limelight back in 2012. And this is the song that is his best work to date.
The cutesy lyric coupled with the artsy music video makes it a tune for all times of the day and mood. Oh, and have I mentioned that this song can be the anthem of our generation? Sample this: For a life time been thinkin' about life and fat, Been avoiding all the big decisions, Sitting by my computer screen, If I'm tired of it there's television. Oh, the times I've wasted. A sentiment shared by many I’m sure. But then there is also this: I'm a bird, I'm a bird. I've been feeling like a bird, Been a bird ever since my birth, Till someone's gonna shoot me down. Another fairly common feeling.
So give this song a go this weekend and hopefully you’ll also feel like a bird despite the ‘time you have wasted’. If you cannot get it out of head, it will also be the perfect 'pick-me-up' song on Monday morning.
- Zenia DCunha
Don't Stay Here by Frames
Frames are a four-piece post-rock group from Germany. Their attention to detail spans from meditative rhythms to hypnotic textures, resulting in some delightful cinematic arrangements. Don’t Stay Here is the eighth track on Frames’ sophomore album In Via, released in 2012.
The song flows effortlessly between spacey piano parts and distorted guitar riffs. One thing I love about this track is that it takes you on a journey - starting off with a dreamy, atmospheric intro, slowly building up to an explosive climax. A must-listen, if you’re into post-rock or instrumental prog-rock.
The album is also reflective of their unique sound that goes beyond genre conventions. Plug in your earphones and explore different emotions through their rich musical narratives.
- Nikhila Makker
Aruarian Dance by Nujabes
Want to get something done in life? This is the track you should be listening to.
The Japanese hip hop producer and DJ, Nujabes, passed away when he was only 36 but left behind massive mark on the scene. This unforgettable piece comes from the soundtrack of an equally unforgettable Japanese anime series Samurai Champloo (highly recommended).
Just put the track on, take a long breathe, crack your knuckles and drift away. This is one of yours truly's favorite track to work to, hope you too get some shit done.
- Harsh Pareek
Tajdar-e-Haram by Atif Aslam
Atif Aslam has a made a name in the Hindi film industry, but if you really want to hear him sing, listen to Tajdar-e-haram from Coke Studio Pakistan's Season 8. The lyrics, Aslam's voice and the accompanying instruments make this song nothing short of spectacular. Originally performed by the Sabri brothers, Tajdar-e-haram is a qawwali that has potential to move you to tears and give you goose bumps. The song is 10 minutes long, but Aslam manages to keep you hooked. And if you are a fan of qawwalis and sufi music be prepared to it on loop for a long, long time.
- Rohini Chatterji
Talk is Cheap by Chet Faker
Melbourne’s Chet Faker has been making a mark for himself with his debut album Built on Glass, which has been dominating theairwaves in Australia, New Zealand as well as in the US billboard. Faker — real name Nicholas Murphy — provides for the listener an interesting fusion of electronica and soul, and his fast helping bring the largely underground Melbourne soul scene to the mainstream.
Talk is Cheap is about a relationship that is sustained by meaningless words instead of actions — something that a lot of us can actually relate to in an era that is witnessing a steady increase in the number of failing relationships.
- Amit Banerjee
The Wheel by PJ Harvey
Even the most fleeting survey of PJ Harvey’s musical output should suffice to establish that the plectrum is political for the protean British singer-songwriter. Her immaculately conceived compositions serve as micro manifestos for the beleaguered and the broken. They are also extraordinary stories. The Wheel speaks of return to loss: Hey little children, don’t disappear, Harvey pleads, handclaps punctuating her words; 28,000 of them are missing, she tells us, their faces faded, "lost upon a revolving wheel”. But her lament doesn’t issue from a frail perch. Harvey is forceful, almost a bully. She wants to clutch your ears and bend you towards her song. All of which makes for compelling theatre, and a thoroughly melodic declaration of her anger.
- Jaideep Giridhar
The Gift by The Velvet Underground
Released almost half a century ago, this intricate piece of avant-garde form of storytelling is by far the one and only rock song of its kind. The short story, recited by a deadpan John Cale, was written by Lou Reed as a writing project during his college days. With A O Henry-ish ending, it's an Alfred Hitchcock-ish story of Waldo Jeffers and Marsha Bronson and me and you. As if that's not enough, this track can still charm the listener to an extent that surpasses music.