Songs to mend the broken heart and songs to mend the broken spirit. We're back again with the Firstpost weekend playlist and we want only 30 minutes of your time.
Scroll down and lose yourself.
Substitute the 'war for oil' alluded to in the song with the 'war within' and you've got a track that's perfect for the times we live in. Nearly nine years after its release and in a time where dying for the country is still seen as the highest form of patriotism, Clenching the Fists of Dissent remains as relevant as ever in 2016, albeit with a slight contextual shift.
The song itself is a 10-minute-35-second epic that evolves from the sort of acoustic guitar intro that wouldn't be out of place in an early-1990s era Metallica set, to a monstrous closing riff. And along the journey is a track that flickers, explodes, simmers, explodes again, simmers a little more and turns into an inferno before fading out. Traversing a rich sonic landscape, Clenching the Firsts of Dissent is one of the best tracks off The Blackening — an album that turned Machine Head from a very good metal band to one of the best bands. Period.
Before you click play and lose yourself to this sonic behemoth, here's a little sample of the lyrical content:
Power and prejudice
Actions they use to pit against
Words used to scare conformity
It's propaganda, it's their hypocrisy
Free to choose our own slavery
Sounds eerily familiar, no?
Just a lie by Soundvis!on
Just a lie by Soundvis!on is a song which really should have been used as the theme song for a James Bond movie but wasn't.
While it is not as good as some Bond theme songs like You Know My Name by Chris Cornell (Casino Royale theme), Skyfall by Adele (Skyfall theme) or Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey (Goldfinger theme), it is very difficult in the first place to make a song which can match the level of these songs.
However, there have also been forgettable and below average James Bond theme songs like Writing's On The Wall by Sam Smith (Spectre theme) or Die Another Day by Madonna (Die Another Day theme). Just a lie is definitely a song which sounds much better than these theme songs.
The best part about Just a lie is that it is much darker than the usual Bond theme song. And like You Know My Name, it is a rock-based Bond theme song, a refreshing change from most of the 007 themes.
Stay Gold by First Aid Kit
What is the one thing you experience when you hear a song the first time? For me, it's if the melody; irrespective of the words, do the chords strike a chord? With First Aid Kit's Stay Gold, there is an instant connect with the tune. It's light, it's fresh, it's upbeat, yet at the same time there is a depth to it. The song has layers of soulful sound, that are peeled slowly as you reach the chorus, layers that keep unraveling till you reach the conclusion, and the song keeps you hooked till the end.
The beautiful lyrics, are of course a bonus, one of gold. (Pun intended)
"What if our hard work ends in despair? What if the road won't take me there? Oh, I wish, for once, we could stay gold"
The words express the deep-rooted dream of most people, simply put to 'stay gold' despite all the gray of despair and uncertainly and sadness around us. And while that may sound melancholy, the song also has a lot of hope to offer and that’s what matters.
A word about the artists, don't go by the name, they are not a punk rock band, they are actually a Swedish folk group, founded by two sisters. The Swedish sisters, the now 24-year old Johanna and 24-year-old Klara Söderberg, started out in 2007 on social networking site MySpace as school children, and in 2015 had a Brit Awards nomination as one of the five best international groups in 2015. Quite the way to 'Stay Gold', right?
Patras karan ki - OST Zenda
It is no mean feat to create a song out of a farmer's suicide letter, and make it sound convincing. This song from the film Marathi film 'Zenda' manages to do that, with the poetry, not surprisingly, being the most striking part. It starts with the line 'Patraas kaaran ki bolayachi himmat nahi' (I am writing this letter, for I do not have the courage to speak.' The poetry goes on to touch upon themes of indebtedness, political apathy and the urban/rural divide. Avadhoot Gupte's vocals alternate between sombre and resigned notes and angry crescendos. The song gets you thinking, perhaps more so than many editorials and analytical articles.
Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits
“There’s so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones”
I won’t get into describing the magnificence that is the music. The only reason you should be listening to this song are the lyrics.
The entire song speaks the soul of a wounded soldier, a battle-bruised man slighted by a world of pain. The entire song is filled with lyrics that will overwhelm you and push you into the depths of despair and maybe, MAYBE, inspire you to be a better person.
This song is spiritual anguish, a dull twinge and a hazy restlessness for a better world even if you know nothing about the world at large.
Perfect to muse about the ideological war our country is in; a sort of an ode to every person unjustly accused, arrested and murdered all for misplaced ideas of patriotism and religion.
Sit on a lonely hill and marvel at the conundrum of war.
p.s. Mark Knofler is the original guitar hero.
Prabhujee by Ravi Shankar and George Harrison
It's nothing less than a 8-minute-ride into the infinite and the connection you have with the infinite energy. It's the track for you to sit back, calm everything down and submit yourself to the eternity, written by the sitar maestro Ravi Shankar's Prabhujee is a track from the 1997 album Chants Of India. It was the final album on which Ravi Shankar collaborated with George Harrison. Apart from the adorable Indian beats and the mystical sitar, the subtle acoustic guitar will surely give you goosebumps.
How the story ends by Secret Wonder
A break up song that apologises fearlessly!
It's beautiful, and it's strange: That being the lyrics of the song, is also the vibes the song will leave you with.
Secret Wonder's How The Story Ends is one track that can send you back to the days of your teenage romance, even if you haven't had one. It'll give you the heart-bumps (goosebumps for your heart) you never knew you could have. And I promise you'll play it again and again just to get that feeling back.
In India, the track first gained popularity when it was used in a promo of a foreign movie. The viewers went gaga over it but there was barely any sign of it on the internet since the creators are not from the popular lot. You can see all the hue and cry if you scroll through the youtube section of the video. You'll anyways be doing that when the static image will start switching you out.
Nimoli by Ila Arun, Dhruv Ghanekar and Bobkat
The name of the song refers to the fruit of the neem tree. The literal translation of the first line is “Your love is like the fruit of the Neem tree. Bittersweet. Every time I bite into it, it leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth and I am reminded of you.” The song is derived from a traditional folk poem.
The song starts in a tongue-in-cheek way, passing sexual innuendos. One is reminded of Mallika Sherawat’s hit number from Guru – ‘Mayya Mayya’. Then Ila Arun’s voice pipes in, in her trademark husky tones and builds an up-tempo song. The song inspires a surge of belly-dancing, despite the songs rather morbid topic – the parting of lovers. To break the monotone of folksy music, a small rap by Bobkat has been infused into the song, which doesn’t really fit into the context of the song, but breaks the monotony. DHruv Ghanekar has given the song a Rajasthani folk feel with undertones of Arabian music.
Coke Studio has goven us great songsin the past like’ Garaj Baras Sawan’ and ‘Daanah pe Daanah’. This song is another name to the list of those illustrious songs.
DLZ by TV on the Radio
In a genre that is dominated by names such as Arctic Monkeys and Imagine Dragons, TV on the radio is perhaps one of the most underrated bands in the Indie rock scene. For this week's playlist, I present to you 'DLZ', the 10th single from their third studio album 'Dear Science'.
DLZ is a track that is neither slow-paced and soothing like 'Will do', nor does it have the energy of tracks such as 'Wolf like me'. The song has a certain touch of mystery to it, aided by lead vocalist Tunde Adebimpe's buttery voice.
Which is perhaps why the song was the best choice for the intense scene between Walter White and a rival meth dealer towards the end of the 10th episode of the second season of AMC's hit series 'Breaking Bad'. The show is perhaps the single biggest factor for the song's popularity.