Music Musik Musique!!!
June 7, 2008 1:54 PM   Subscribe

Horrible breakup. Looking for fun pop music / musik / musique in other languages to stimulate my ears without having to know what's being said.

I've been going through a horrible breakup. Ugh. I love music, but I find that listening to pop/rock/indie music in English often just makes me focus on what's going on. I could scour my iTunes library for fun stuff that I already have, but a lot of it just reminds me of my ex, even if it's not about love, heartache, etc.

So I'm looking for fun music in other languages along the lines of what I already like to fill my ears with song. Prime example: I've been totally rocking out to the Prototypes for the past week or two, and they've been a godsend. No real preference for origin, just so long as it's fun and uptempo--no ballads, please, no matter what the language.

I like a lot of Britpop and indie stuff, generally. The full list of my top artists via Last.FM can be found here, if you need any inspiration. (The Goldie Lookin' Chain has been a crutch, too, you can see.) Thanks!
posted by Admiral Haddock to Media & Arts (43 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: "Radio Song" by Superbus. Even in its native language (French), it's poppy and inane.
"Mauvais Garcon" by Naast. Also French. Super poppy.

Yes, they're both from Guitar Hero 3. Sue me. :)
posted by DWRoelands at 2:02 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: How about some Zap Mama or Les Nubians?

Sorry about the breakup. The good thing is, at some point, the yucky feelings actually go away. No, really, it's true.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 2:05 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Polysics?
posted by SansPoint at 2:10 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Focus - Hocus Pocus .... from a recent FPP.
posted by iamabot at 2:10 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Grupo Fantasma! Upbeat Latin rocky goodness.
posted by asuprenant at 2:11 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Mr. Children
Eastern Youth
posted by KokuRyu at 2:13 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Seconding Hocus Pocus by Focus. Good call, iamabot.
posted by kjackelen05 at 2:24 PM on June 7, 2008

posted by pieoverdone at 2:37 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: I mean Ye-Ye
posted by pieoverdone at 2:37 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Komeda, super happy Swedish pop.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 2:50 PM on June 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The Pillows.
posted by Caduceus at 4:10 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Värttinä
posted by not_on_display at 4:55 PM on June 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Kelly Key - Cachorrinho.
posted by Zé Pequeno at 5:00 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Babylon Circus is somewhat pop-ska-reggae and upbeat and in French. I saw them live in France a few years ago and they totally had the crowd going, dancing and singing and it was so fun!
posted by potatopeople at 5:44 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Malajube - Montreal -40C and
Malajube - Ton Plat Favori

Quebecois pop.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 6:00 PM on June 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There is some really nice Chinese pop, especially out of Taiwan. Sadly I don't know any names (or rather how to translate them) but hopefully someone here does, or you can start with, say, Bonnie Pink
(Kaori Asada/浅田香織)in Last.FM and do similar.
posted by dawson at 6:35 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Alizee--J'en ai marre
posted by Lycaste at 6:41 PM on June 7, 2008

Excuse me. I should have said Malajube - Montreal -40C
posted by heavenstobetsy at 7:07 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: utada hikaru - traveling, or really anything else she's put out from 2000 onwards.
posted by lia at 7:18 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Not necessarily pop/rock/indie, but definitely fun & uptempo:
Extra Golden
There's some french stations over at Deezer that might have what you're looking for.
Cruise Stern's catalogue for cool international music.
Check out eMusic's international stuff. Here too.
Hope you get to feeling better soon.
posted by keith0718 at 7:49 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Amadou & Mariam Dimanche a Bamako.. the whole album is so great and happy.
Senegal Fast Food.
posted by citron at 8:31 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Oh and this is a total WTF. Ruslana (Ukranian pop star) f/T-Pain (!) Moon of Dreams .. the video is completely ridiculous and then random T-Pain appearance. ha.

Yelle Je Veux Te Voir
posted by citron at 8:44 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Okay time for some Thai pop. This ear-worm stays in my head for ages ... can only find the video clip to it:

Welcome to Oh no no no
posted by Gilgad at 8:45 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: Not pop/rock/indie, but Mulatu Astatke is very satisfying and fun listening.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 9:21 PM on June 7, 2008

Kate Bush -- specifically her album Hounds Of Love. That album is the best thing ever when you're feeling low.
posted by Kikkoman at 10:09 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: allow me at add a few more Asian acts (these are old school, tried and true artists):

PUFFY (パフィー) or Puffy AmiYumi as they are known in the United States (due to legal naming conflicts with Sean Combs, also known as "Sean 'Puffy' Combs", "Puff Daddy", or "P-Diddy"), is a pop/rock duo from Japan.

Ami Onuki (大貫亜美), whose nickname is "Jane", and Yumi Yoshimura (吉村由美), nicknamed "Sue", were scouted by two different talent agencies and put together in 1995, and soon PUFFYThere are three artists going under the name of 'hitomi':

古谷仁美 (Furuya Hitomi), born January 26, 1976, is a Japanese singer, songwriter, record label owner and executive.

In addition to having consistently been one of the most popular and successful musicians in Japan since her debut in 1994, hitomi is also acknowledged as one of the most influential figures in Japanese pop culture. Along with Utada Hikaru and Hamasaki Ayumi, hitomi has helped redefine and evolve the female Japanese pop singer, -Mania would begin.

Lots of happy, poppy, catchy stuff that will lift yr spirit.
posted by dawson at 11:16 PM on June 7, 2008

Best answer: I love the German band Wir Sind Helden, especially Nur ein Wort, which always cheers me up. Guten Tag is good too.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:28 AM on June 8, 2008

Best answer: This is the guy for me
posted by timsteil at 4:22 AM on June 8, 2008

Best answer: Manu Chao - some of his stuff is in English, but he also sings in a bunch of other languages (French, Spanish, Arabic...). Great poppy stuff.
posted by jacalata at 5:22 AM on June 8, 2008

Best answer: This is what Luiz Gonzaga and Shoukichi Kina are for.
posted by billtron at 5:54 AM on June 8, 2008

Best answer: Wir Sind Helden! Ya! If you like the Prototypes you'll love them. But "Von Hier an Blind" for me.
More Volkswagen-bumpin: "Troy" (fun video) Der Fantastischen Vier

SeeqPod is great. Check out the "Discover" feature.
posted by Methylviolet at 5:59 AM on June 8, 2008

Best answer: Pink Lady ufo (i'm not kidding. i always really liked this tune.)
posted by wittgenstein at 9:22 AM on June 8, 2008

Best answer: Stereolab!
posted by Mach5 at 10:12 AM on June 8, 2008

Best answer: Japanese: Halfby, The Pillows, 10-FEET, Chappie, HALCALI, Hi-Posi, Takako Minekawa, Kirinji, RIP SLYME.
Not Japanese: Clon are poppy and stupid and awesome (with some great videos), Articolo 31, Camille, Eläkeläiset, Die Ärzte?
posted by zusty at 11:30 AM on June 8, 2008

Best answer: Super Furry Animals Mwng (welsh)
The Aller Værste (Norwegian)
posted by SurrenderMonkey at 11:33 AM on June 8, 2008

Best answer: I really, really like Aterciopelados. I have Gozo Poderoso and Oye.

My Spanish isn't good enough to really understand more than a few words and phrases here or there, but the music is very enjoyable. I find that when I need to study, or if I just want to relax and listen to music, but not actually have to 'listen' to the music, that Aterciopelados is the band I turn to over and over.

Music videos for El Album from Gozo Poderoso, and Completmento from Oye.
posted by ralan at 12:27 PM on June 8, 2008

Cocteau Twins.
posted by not_on_display at 1:28 PM on June 8, 2008

Best answer: some recent recent favourite non-english fun albums are:

Tropicalia: A Brazilian Revolution in Sound
Brazil 70: After Tropicalia
Back to Peru
Thai Pop Spectacular
Nigeria Special, Nigeria Disco Funk Special, Nigeria Rock Special [and so on]

Basically, go check out the Soul Jazz, Soundway, Vampisoul, and Sublime Frequencies labels. They all have a lot of awesome 60's and 70's world rock and pop.
posted by rhinny at 1:40 PM on June 8, 2008

Best answer: Another Japanese suggestion: Budo Grape

I just saw them perform at A-Kon last weekend(their first American performance), and their music is a lot of fun. It's very up-tempo pop/punk/rock with a good dose of B-52's sounding keyboard work.
posted by owtytrof at 11:17 AM on June 9, 2008

Response by poster: Wow, thanks for all the great responses! My finger got tired marking best answers.

Report from the field: I really liked Yelle and Wir Sind Helden right off the bat. Stereolab is great, and I think I have all their albums already, so I will see about finding some good tracks from the collection. Same goes for SFA--I think I have all of their stuff (except for a couple of recent singles) and the Welsh language stuff has always been a favorite of mine. I had forgotten about Die Fantastiche Vier, and Troy off of Viel seems great--I'll have to import it from The Fanta 4 reminded me to go back to Fuenf Sterne Deluxe (and a bit to Fettes Brot, which I never liked as much). I also reminded myself of Christophe Willem, who won France's Pop Idol a few years ago.

And as long as I'm reaching into the archive, anyone looking for similar confections to pick them up might want to try Denmark's MC Einar, and maybe Jovanotti (sorry, that link is not a good clip of the video). Ah the Earth to MTV days...
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:10 PM on June 9, 2008

Response by poster: I should mention, too, that I'm still exploring the links that everyone posted! Just because I gave the shoutout to Wir Sind Helden and Yelle (and my own links!) does not mean that all of your awesome suggestions will not get some Admiral Haddock love.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:12 PM on June 9, 2008

Best answer: You definitely need Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.
posted by micayetoca at 6:02 PM on June 9, 2008

Best answer: Elvy Sukaesih, the dangdut queen, may help.

Rita Mitsouko (New Wave-ish French band)

Mexican Institute of Sound

Akwid (big thanks to micayetoca for introducing them to me)

If you're in the mood for something a bit more guitar driven, but funky as hell, try Tinariwen.

Euros Childs, former frontperson for Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, did an all-Welsh album last year called Bore Da (YT link for Siwgr, Siwgr, Siwgr). His other albums contain a mix of English and Welsh, but this one's all Welsh.

Also, the blog Fat Planet is one of many great places to check out new music that is exactly what you're looking for. The blog Rio Baile Funk also has a nice list of some others on this page.

Hope that helps. Good luck.
posted by sleepy pete at 10:03 PM on June 9, 2008

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