It's another weekend, and another playlist from us, here on the Firstpost newsdesk. And what has the gang go up to this week? Why, we're glad you asked. We have the genre-defying Delhi-based indie band Peter Cat Recording Co., the Indian Jam Project and Tushar Lall, some hills country blues with Jim Kimbough, and Hozier. The rest, we leave you to discover. As always, tune in to tune out.
'$' by Ka
I'll admit that I'm not very familiar with hip hop music. And when you ask me, or anyone else for that matter, about what they think about rapping, they'll probably think about aggressive lyrics sung in a fast, abrasive style. But Ka's recent album Honor Killed the Samurai really changed my perception about hip hop music. The rapper from Brownsville, who also works as a firefighter with the New York City Fire Department, sings in a melancholic manner about the tragedy of the samurai and how it relates to recent times. His lyrics are interspersed with Japanese-inspired music that sounds like it would fit into any retro martial arts movie. His lyrics also don't fall into the hip hop formula of speaking recklessly of women and money. Even in this song, '$', the rapper broods about the need for money to give back to his community. The world certainly needs more conceptual albums like Honor Killed the Samurai.
— Siddhi Desai
'Like Real People Do' by Hozier
Hozier became really famous because of 'Take Me To Church' and while it is one of the best songs in the list, there are so many other gems in his album. One of them is 'Like Real People do'.
The song is sad and happy at the same time .
I read up on the song and here's what I found: This acoustic adventure was inspired by the Irish poet Seamus Heaney and his series of poems about the northern Irish bog, in which the land itself seems to come alive. Hozier told MTV News the song is about "somebody digging somebody up from the earth and falling in love with them".
Hozier further explained what attracted him to Seamus Heaney's poems. He said during a Reddit AMA: "I kind of liked the imagery of someone digging up a person from the earth and falling in love with them and at the same time I suppose that person being dug from the earth is relieved, reborn, and somewhat suspicious of the motives of a grave digger. A fine love story."
I hope you have as much fun listening to this song as I do...
— Kinjal Vora
'Love Demons' by Peter Cat Recording Co.
If you're looking to feel things, get hit with some psychedelia and be haunted by some gut wrenching vocals, then give this a listen. Delhi-based Peter Cat Recording Co, have been shelling out genre defying music over the last few years, and this song and it's equally mesmerising video is a good way to get completely hooked to what is one of the best bands to come out of the Indian indie music scene.
— Shibani Sharma
'Raftim Azin Baagh' by Safar
An Afghan-German group, Safar is one of the best fusion music ensembles around. The group is a project for which the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar invited five high-class musicians from Afghanistan to present traditional music for which their country has been famous and which has been forbidden under the Taliban regime for decades. This is a piece called 'Raftim Azin Baagh' from the concert that took place on 4 July 2012 at the University.
I love how the beat starts off at a good place and builds up until the end. The tabla and dhol beats are in perfect tandem with Ustad Ghulam Hussain on the rubab.
— Ankita Maneck
'Star Wars Music Indian Tribute' by Tushar Lall and The Indian Jam Project
Tushar Lall and his Indian Jam Project have been trending on social media recently due to their Coldplay tribute (as anything Coldplay does.) But while you knock yourself out on their 'Fusion Fix You', you must sample some of their earlier stuff. Their tabla-flute-piano laden BBC Sherlock theme is a delight while their version of Game of Thrones and Harry Potter is something to play on loop during mellow hours.
But one of their most versatile pieces of music is the Star Wars tribute. This is John Williams’ iconic creations we are talking about — the tunes us fans instantly associate with the black screen and scrolling text and get emotional about. To translate that into an Indian classical version, and make such an amazingly layered, ingenious job of it, is no mean feat.
Lall brings together piano, flute, drums, tabla, sarangi and other traditional instruments, (even ghungroo) together, to arrange a piece that make the poignant compositions even more memorable. The ebb and flow of the various themes, created so elegantly by Williams, get an all new treatment with the Indian musical instruments.
The menacing 'Imperial March' becomes melodious, the 'Duel of Fates' makes you want to tap your feet to the beat and 'The Force Awakens' and Rey’s theme become even more soulful. Oh and don’t miss the Cantina band bit (the tune played in the bar when Obi Wan and Luke meet first meet Han Solo,) the peppy piece even has some ghungroo thrown in for effect!
May the Force be with you, this weekend.
— Zenia D'cunha
'All Night Long' by Junior Kimbrough
I discovered Jim Kimbrough pretty recently, and entirely by accident: His 'You Better Run' was on the soundtrack for season five of my favourite zombie show, The Walking Dead. The song I'm sharing today, however, is 'All Night Long' — the footage is from a documentary called Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads. Deep Blues was directed by Robert Mugge and narrated by Robert Palmer, the critic who once referred to Kimbrough's music as "hypnotic". This particular video from 1990 shows Kimbrough performing with his band in a "juke joint"; since he didn't record too many albums at the time, these performances were how the musician built his reputation, and fan following. It has all of the hallmarks of Kimbrough's style — the droning, repetitive sound of his guitar and vocals, and the "hill country blues" sound that would permeate later hits like 'You Better Run' and 'Sad Days, Lonely Nights'.
— Rohini Nair