Smooth songs about love and loneliness

Sibiu reedited (74 of 261)It’s Saturday, it’s raining outside, as it has been for much of March in Sydney, and the coffee is steaming beside me on the desk. I am editing photos of Eastern Europe for my travel website Time to Wander, but mentally I am back in Romania and would much rather be having coffee on this cute shady terrace in Sibiu (right).

Another language course there this northern summer, maybe? Travel fantasies are getting stronger.

To enhance the mood, to refresh my very rusty Romanian language skills, I have been listening to songs in the Romanian charts from the likes of Kiss FM top 100 and a blog on Romanian charts that I love trawling through. Both feature a mix of local and international artists, in other words a mix of songs in Romanian and English, although occasionally Spanish and French features too.

Here, in no particular order (although number four is my favourite song of the moment in any language), are some songs that I have found appealing. I hope you do too. If you are interested in the lyrics you will usually find them on the Versuri website. and translations (into various languages) on the Lyrics Translate website.

1) DEEPCENTRAL – Dependent

Tick tock goes the clock when you wake up alone and want company.

2) VUNK- Hai, mersi

She’s gone, he misses her night and day, but could there be a happy ending?

 3) 3 SUD EST – Cine esti?

Three men who can sing superbly together are haunted by a mysterious woman.

4) BIANCA & DOMG – Te vreau, dar nu te vreau

A sweet lament on fickle lovers who want but don’t want.

5) ANDI – Luni

Every day feels like a Monday since you left. But the accordion is jaunty!

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Indila’s got them dancing and Faydee’s not fading in the hot 100

If I talk about music it means I haven’t done any language research recently. OK, let’s talk about music 😀 … Having just been through a Brazilian music phase (I’m still enjoying Capital Incial and Paul Fernandes), it’s time to move on to another language. I have a whole set of songs in Spanish tagged in my Shazam app, but have yet to sort through them; I could do Italian songs, but a blog that I follow, Peeking into Italy, provides Italian monthly hitlists, so if you want to keep up to date with the current Italian music scene, I suggest you head there for now. Which leaves French or Romanian…

IndilaWell, there is a French singer at the top of the latest available Romanian Top 100 airplay charts: Indila has finally made it to No. 1 with Dernière Danse, which My Five Romances featured on the post French chansons from the fairer sex. (That said, the airplay chart, which you can see here, is for the 23/03/2014 – it takes a couple of weeks for the information to be compiled.) Other French artists doing well on the chart are Klingande (who prefers to sing in Swedish) – her big European hit Jubel is up four places to No. 23, and Maître Gims (his Bella is still in the top 40 after 27 weeks on the chart) and Stromae, up 17 places to 57 with Tous Les Mêmes). See the ‘Related links’ at the bottom post if you want to know more about them.

There are a couple of Australians on the chart too: Kylie Minogue and Faydee. You might expect the former to being doing better of the two, but no, her latest single Into The Blue has been vacillating about in the bottom half of the chart, whereas Faydee, who is of Lebanese descent and is not that well known in Australia, has had great success in eastern Europe, Romania in particular, first with Laugh Till You Cry (a No. 1 last year), and his latest, Can’t Say No, which this week is at No.10.

The hot Romanian songs of the moment are…

Smiley‘s Acasa is still doing well at No. 2 (which reminds me, have you done your karaoke challenge yet?) I think this recent release by Soré will do likewise; it’s already on the verge of the top 10. She is a relative newcomer on the music scene and it’s hard to find information about her in English (you get lots of yukky images and descriptions of sores!) but according to this snippet on the Romania Insider website her real name is Sorina Mihalache, she sings in a band called LaLaBand and was “discovered” when she was 17 by the producers from Play & Win, who also work with Inna. She certainly has a powerful voice, and the drums on this track are unusual.

This next song, Zbor Cu Parapanta by Maximilian -feat. Grasu XXL, actually features the typically magnificent scenery of the Romanian mountain ranges, and – shock, horror indignation! – the singers litter them as they make this video! (Hopefully they tidied up afterwards.) The title means “Paragliding” and it’s apparently a deep and meaningful metaphor about life when you have to fly even though you are afraid of heights. Although I don’t particularly care for Maximilian‘s hip-hop/rap-style verses, I find the underlying sounds very interesting and hypnotic, and this has helped the song linger in the top 20 for a while now. If you play this, don’t stop listening at least until after the fat guy (Grasu XXL) sings! His voice is great and the chorus is what makes this song. It goes like this….

Despre una, despre alta – About (or “concerning”)one thing and another
Un fel de zbor cu parapanta – A kind of paragliding
Când eu am rău de înălţime – When I’m afraid of heights
Asta-i despre mine, despre tine, despre oricine, despre nimeni – That’s about me, you, anybody, nobody…

In contrast to all the commercial dance/pop, power ballads and rap/pop numbers that dominate the charts, it’s good to hear some old-fashioned pop/rock with ooomph. Numai la doi is a new release from Vunk, a band with some pedigree in Romania, and it has just broken into the top 30. The title means “Only two”. It features the very popular Andra, who was at No.1 with Atata Timp Cat Ma Iubesti until Indila took over this week.

Lastly, I should mention this song, Sus Pe Toc, by Shift featuring Marius Moga (the latter is an internationally renowned singer and music producer). It is the biggest stayer on the current chart – 43 weeks so far – and was huge last summer,when I was in Romania. It’s a homage to high heels – hence all the leggy models strutting their stuff – it’s layered with interesting sounds, rhythms and echoes, and the chorus is infectious (I’m a sucker for catchy “whoa-oh-o-ah” lines). If anything, this song illustrates how well produced technically much of Romanian contemporary music is. 

Related links