Fun fact: I haven’t left Tufts since arriving here in August. Well, I’ve taken plenty of trips to Davis, and I’ve gone into the city a few times, but generally speaking, I haven’t left the sphere of Tufts. As nice as it is to be on campus, I often find myself thinking about traveling somewhere else (maybe somewhere warmer). I’d imagine that many people feel quite a similar sense of — and I truly do hate to say it — wanderlust. So perhaps as some sort of catharsis, here are some of my favorite songs from all around the globe to satisfy the travel bug in you:
- “Boee” by Idan Raichel
- “Prenzlauerberg” by Beirut
- “Poupée de cire, poupée de son” by France Gall
- “Guarda come dondolo” by Edoardo Vianello
- “Water No Get Enemy” by Fela Kuti
- “La Bicicleta” by Carlos Vives and Shakira
- “A Minha Menina” by Os Mutantes
- “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco
- “Jai Ho” by A.R. Rahman
- “Life On Mars?” by Seu Jorge
- “Papaoutai” by Stromae
- “C’est La Vie” by Khaled
The first song on the list, “Boee,” comes from a 2002 album titled “The Idan Raichel Project,” which was the debut album of Israeli singer-songwriter Idan Raichel. The album was created in part to exhibit the diversity of Israel — the album features Israeli, Ethiopian and Yemeni singers, as well as musicians from many other countries both in the Middle East and around the world. “Boee” in particular is written in both Hebrew and Amharic and uses an interesting mix of instruments to create a distinctive modern sound that’s true to its Middle Eastern roots. While you can definitely hear the effects of contemporary music-making software in the background, its blend of Ethiopian chanting and traditional Middle Eastern instruments makes for a very cool sound. The rest of the album has some other great songs as well, my favorite being “Im Telech.”
Another great band on this playlist is Beirut — who admittedly is from Santa Fe, N.M. Beirut is the project of Zach Condon, who traveled around Eastern Europe after dropping out of high school, and started to record music influenced by his travels upon returning back home. He recorded his first album, “Gulag Orkestar” (2006), at 19 years old in his University of New Mexico dorm (and here I am making Spotify playlists for the Tufts Daily). “Gulag Orkestar” sounds incredibly European evoking nostalgia for some forgotten time in a way that I’ve never heard another album replicate. Condon does a great job with songs like “Prenzlauerberg” or “Rhineland (Heartland),” which sound like something you might casually hear walking down a street in some small European town. “Postcards from Italy,” my favorite song on the album, exemplifies those feelings most, and it also has one of the best music videos I’ve ever seen.
See you all next week, probably still in Boston.