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Springing Into World Music With Some Cool Songs

Piers Faccine
The artist Piers Faccini is just one of the amazing musicians you'll hear on Saturday's World Music Show. (Photo: @DouniaJauneaud/Courtesy of the artist)

Like all the new flowers trying to struggle their way through the dirt to reach the sun (like many of us, too, perhaps), there’s a whole batch of fresh new music to unearth lately. 

And I can say that much of this new music truly reflects a pinwheel of sounds from all over the planet, with musicians from the Ukraine, Japan, France, Soweto, South Africa as well as Romania, Nigeria, Argentina and Brazil -- just to name the highlights.

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In no particular order, here are just a few of the musicians/bands you’ll hear on tonight’s World Music Show (4/3). Many of these songs I pulled after reading some great reviews on the world music blog Beehype. Give them a thorough read if you want to learn more about other amazing new music from this planet.

Piers Faccini has a brand new album that was just released Friday called Shapes of the Fall. Faccini has crafted an amazing, melodic and thrilling set of songs with that swoop around you and pull you in and won’t let you go until they’re done. Faccini is also an artist, so he’s left his magical fingerprints on the videos he’s put together for many of the album’s songs.

Piers Faccini - All Aboard ft. Ben Harper & Abdelkebir Merchane.

Urban Village is from Soweto, South Africa. Their new album Udondolo goes through genres and styles and has uplifting beats. The track “Dindi” is one of the album’s highlights. It promotes being proud of whatever skin color you have. 

Urban Village - Dindi  

Postman (AKA Kostiantyn Pochtar) is a traveler. He spends his time between Kyiv, Wroclaw, and Berlin. While in lockdown in Berlin, the Ukrianian musician was feeling stuck (like many of us) and wrote this beautiful song that mirrors the feeling that many of us felt--coldness. 

Postman -  Антарктида” (Antarktyda/Antarctica)

In other lockdown related music, the bands Tik Tu and Madalitso came together virtually during the pandemic. Tik Tu (another cool band out of the Ukraine) sent the Malawain duo Madalitso a fan email, saying how much they loved their music--with a question of perhaps they’d like to collaborate. They did and the really fun song “Sitimamenya” was born. 

Tik Tu and Madalitso - Sitimamenya

Like many artists during Covid-19 lockdown, Shintaro Sakamoto took to writing music. Sakamoto, a psychedelic rocker behind the band Yura Yura, wrote about some of the things he was missing--in this case, nightclubbing and about the love of just dancing to the music.

Shintaro Sakamoto - The Feeling of Love

Made Kuti and his father Femi (Yep, they're related to Fela Kuti) just released a dueling set of albums together. Perhaps dueling isn’t the right word. Rather, they each put out their own album at the same time and connected them by calling the project “Legacy.” Though each release is steeped in the funk of Afrobeat, with a message of both hope and a calling to take charge, each stands out on their own. 

Made Kuti - Free Your Mind

Two words: Japanese Ska. That’s all you need to know about the big band Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, who have elevated Ska music to the next level by crafting tight, danceable Ska tunes made to be turned up.

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra  - Kamen Rider Saber

Météo Mirage is a Parisian band that is peaking my interest. Their new song “Ton Nom” is from a forthcoming album of the same name and the track is moody and melodiac in a way that--pardon the pun--strikes a chord with me.

Météo Mirage -  Ton Nom