mosiki top tracks 2018

The Year in Alternative Pakistani Music: Top 20 Tracks of 2018

6. Snails – Shorbanoor


With Snails, Lahore-based singer songwriter Shorbanoor goes down an R&B route. While before he was more used to bellowing out lyrics, here he picks up a delicate falsetto. The track really comes into its own as it progresses: the composition gets looser, jazzier, and Noor repeats the double-meaning lyric ‘I don’t know why I don’t care’. He complains that he doesn’t ‘feel it the same way like I used to’, but if he keeps making music like this, maybe that’s a good thing.


7. Revelations – Adil Omar (+ Elliphant, Shaman Durek, SNKM)

One of the standout tracks from Adil Omar’s album ‘Transcendence’Revelations is a testament to Omar’s talents as a producer, and his ear for infectious melodies. The animalistic ‘HOO HAA’s that introduce the track, the stunning chorus, the chunky synths, delicate keys, Omar’s confident raps, all culminate to form a track that’s not only fun and dance-able, but musically complex enough to warrant multiple listens. This is one for the party playlists.


8. Bhaaga Re – Imam Hamdani

The last we heard from Imam Hamdani was when he was one third of the indie-pop band Teeen, that released one of my favourite EPsBhaaga Re continues in the tradition of Teeen: blissfully chilled out, lush compositions, stunning guitar work. There’s a whistle sound that interjects every now and then, like a whistle being put through an auto-tune – it’s a nice touch. In a switch of roles, Hamdani here takes control of the mic while Sara Haider provides the background vocals. His voice is soft and fragile, almost like it might get swept off in a heavy breeze but it fits wonderfully here, giving the track a softness and a feeling of nostalgia.


9. Saqi-e-Bawafa – Saakin


Saakin’s rendition of Shams Tabrizi’s Saqi-E-Bawafa is one of the standout singles from this year, merging together a jazzier production style while maintaining the spiritual power of the piece. The band know when to be delicate, and when to let loose, resulting in a track that takes you on a special journey. Not to be missed.


10. To Ja! – Rushk

This almost 8 minute long epic from Karachi band Rushk is such a blast to listen to. The band is unabashedly experimental here, shifting tones and genres with gleeful abandon, enjoying the freedom that an 8-minute track provides. It’s a huge canvas, and the band paints a gigantic soundscape. There are anthems where grungy guitars crash into one another, and delicate moments where Nazia Zuberi is able to thread the needle with her voice. It’s a brilliant showcase of musical ability and freedom in composition.


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