After just over a year, Stretchyourmind is back, with five (and then some) new awesome songs from five new countries. This batch includes Ugandan mwooyo, Brazilian new wave, and self-effacing German rock.
31. Somalia: K’naan – Wavin’ Flag
Somalian-Canadian artist Kn’aan wrote this song to call attention to the bloodshed and upheaval that have plagued Somalia and many other African countries for decades. Coca-cola went and sponsored a new version of the song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup that kept the hook but replaced any reference to poverty and unhappiness with lines about about happy people waving flags. Both versions are still miles above other versions of the song featuring Will.I.Am or Canadian supergroups.
32. Brazil: CSS – Move
This is a fun electronic/rock number. Dressed up like a bunch of Carrboro hipsters, CSS (short for cansei de ser sexy, or “tired of being sexy”) drive around the countryside taking some impressive but technically dubious photos using trick photography.
33. Germany: Die Prinzen – Deutschland
Die Prinzen (“The Princes”) crafted this catchy little number that manages to tweak German habits and culture (they aren’t being entirely sincere when they sing about the joys of German cars or about Germans being the friendliest people on Earth) while also working as an anthem celebrating Germany. Shades of “America, F— Yeah,” anyone?
34. Uganda: Maurice Kirya – Boda Boda
Maurice Kirya races through Kampala to get to his loved one in this sweet example of the mwooyo (according to Kirya’s website, a blend of soul, Afro-fusion and R&B) genre. Kirya deliberately chose a woman with albinism to play his soulmate in this video to show albinos in a positive light and to reduce stigmatism associated with that condition in parts of Africa.
35. Panama: Los Rabanes – Commanding Wife
Los Rabanes, a cumbia/rock/reggae/ska band, often sing in a blend of Spanish and English, reflecting the strong influence the presence the U.S. military has had on their country. In this boisterous, bouncy, infectious tune, the singer describes the problems that come with having a life partner who “wants to destroy my life.”
35.5 Zimbabwe: Tinashe - Zambezi
I already covered Zimbabwe’s Tuku Mtukudzi in a previous entry, but in the interest of sharing great world music I had to include this entry as well. In this haunting song, Minashe recounts the story of a doomed young couple, originally told to him by his mother. You can also catch the more upbeat, visually appealing, thematically inappropriate video of the song here.