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Take 5 With CHUTNEY

CHUTNEY is an Aussie world punk fusion band with a twist. Drawing on their Eastern European and Middle Eastern heritage, they play a spicy mix of originals, fresh takes on traditional klezmer dance tunes and klezmerified pop bangers. Comprising clarinet, violin, keyboard, bass, percussion and drums – plus guest singers – the band cheekily hopscotches from folk to pop, jazz to tango, classical to funk, east to west. Today CHUTNEY share with us their five favourite tracks of the minute and why.

  1. ‘Photograph’ – Live from Ocean Way Nashville, by Cody Fry

I came late to the Fry party but have been obsessed since. He is a masterful songwriter and this track has so much that I love about his style: sweeping, expressive, memorable melodies, gorgeous harmonies, captivating lyrics, a simultaneous ease and vulnerability in his voice; and, in this version, the most sublime orchestration (which I believe he wrote himself!). Truly breathtaking.

  1. Butterflies and Hurricanes – Live at Wembley Stadium, by Muse

Surely one of the greatest art rock songs of all time. Every hair on my body stands upright the moment I hear that opening guitar riff. Bellamy’s vocals are seductive but so driven, an iron fist in a velvet glove. Intoxicatingly empowering lyrics, strong harmonies. And then – as if this track needed anything more – the abject audacity required to just stop the song and break into a declamatory Rachmaninov concerto-esque piano cadenza. Goosebumps.

  1. Hurricane, by Eden Golan

Another hurricane in the title, another epic song. This was Israel’s Eurovision entry last month and it is the definition of power ballad. The melody is exquisitely crafted and very catchy, growing from a seedling in the verse to soaring, searing flight in the chorus, and beyond. The lyrics are poetic and potent, and Golan’s voice is both soulful and scorching. The most galvanising song in my playlist right now.

  1. Running from the Scene, by Manic Bloom

I’m big enough to admit that I only discovered this song courtesy of Texan sports/comedy group Dude Perfect using it on one of their early videos. After many years, it remains on my list of all-time hardest hitting bangers. If you like Muse, Manic Bloom are definitely worth a listen. This is another deep, dark, minor key track with a strong pianistic presence backing charismatic vocals. I dig the Bach-esque countermelody (counterpoint) in the piano and then guitar in the final choruses, and I respect the temerity needed by an early 2000s rock band to include a touch like that.

  1. Lashuv Habayta (‘To Return Home’, לשוב הביתה), by Ishay Ribo

Ishay Ribo is one of Israel’s biggest stars, and this song is his biggest hit. Right out of the gate, there is a gentle but inexorable optimism, an inner flame that burns patiently, quietly – that never fails to fill me with hope and twitch the corners of my mouth into a smile. The lyrics are essentially just an elaboration of the title – a Jewish version of P Diddy / Skylar Grey’s ‘I’m Coming Home’, if you will. Ribo’s vocals are pure and true. The message is simple, and simply presented – and sometimes those are the most effective.