It’s the weekend and several teams have already made it through to the knockout stages. Who will join them? We’ll have to play some football to find out. First though, let’s have some music.
Cameroon: Reniss – On Dit Quoi
Reniss is FANTASTIC. I especially love her cheekily fun videos, mixing glamorous popstar tropes with domestic scenes, and generous dollops of tongue in cheek camp. If you like this, you’ll love her 2016 absolute BANGER, Dans La Sauce, which will make you access your twerk reflex even if you don’t think you’ve got one.
Canada: Mariel Buckley – Casting Stones
Mariel Buckley has a fantastic blues voice with rich texture and tone, and she makes very intense country music. I don’t always know where I am with country, I’ve never gone full Nashville, but this has a worn down late-night dive bar ambience that is very appealing.
The Netherlands: Duncan Laurence – Arcade
Look. I’ve got to confess that it’s not always easy to research songs for Listen Outside. There are a few countries that pose particular problems, and for whatever reason, I find it hard to find music from the Netherlands that I’m specifically interested in recommending. The stuff I think is in Dutch almost always turns out to be in Flemish and therefore Belgian. So please, accept this in lieu of a proper recommendation.
Arcade handily won the Eurovision Song Contest this year. While I think it’s a very high quality song, it just never made my heartbeat faster. What I love though is when people do deeply disrespectful arms-aloft dance remixes of Eurovision ballads (like this amazing 1944 remix). This is an absolute classic of the genre. I love it.
New Zealand: Miss Pou – Ka Taka Te Po
This should probably officially be Aotearoa, and perhaps at some point in the future it will be? Miss Pou makes acoustic music in te reo Māori that has a deep, stately beauty. She also has this proverb on her bandcamp page:
‘Ahakoa He Iti, He Pounamu’
‘Even though it is small, it is precious.’