Onna Negai Ota – Meiko Kaji
Meiko Kaji is a Japanese actress who was most prominent in the 1970s. She played in a bunch of films, mostly in badass outlaw character roles. But she was also an amazing modern enka singer. Enka is a genre of music in Japan that resembles the musical style of traditional Japanese music. Modern enka came about in post-World War II context, sort of attributed to Keiko Fuji who really brought the style back into prominence in Japan. This is a great sampling of Kaji’s work, and it’s really interesting to hear the traditional Japanese style being played on Western instruments like violins, guitars, accordions, and electric organs. Oh, also you might recognize her voice as two of her songs were featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill soundtracks.
Requiem – Alma
France’s entry into Eurovision this year.
Paradis Perdus – Christine and the Queens
Christine and the Queens are from France, and sing in both French and English, sometimes trading off between both languages in the same song like it does here. The English chorus should sound familiar. 🙂
Cheshme Man – Dariush
I first heard this song in Ana Lily Amirpour’s movie, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” and I’ve been smitten with it ever since. Also a beautiful guitar song.
Sex Noll Två – KSMB
The title of this song translates to “Six Five Four” from Swedish to English. I know literally nothing about this band aside from the fact that they’re Swedish, and were together in the late 70’s to early 80’s. I can’t find any of their music online except for on Youtube. It’s a real shame, because this is a great punk song.