Whether you’re hitting the beach or sheltering inside from some less than summery weather, The Calvert Journal has got the music covered. We’ve chosen some of the best of this season’s pop hits from across the New East to make sure your summer playlist brings the sun, come rain or shine.
Lana Jurčević, Croatia
Take a weekend getaway to Paris (via a Zagreb race track) with Croatian star Lana Jurčević, as she turns her hand to motorbike racing, dances on a number of bridges and attempts to evade the prying eyes and camera lenses of the paparazzi. Not quite the conventional romantic vow, this upbeat summer track sees Lana promise her loved one that despite their differences — “You are like Bugatti, I’m like Maserati”— she is his Kim Kardashian. Why Kim? “[She] has become a synonym for successful business woman [...] and yet she is ordinary, with imperfections like all of us. Here she is a symbol of what every woman represents to her partner — for him she is the most beautiful and the best,” Lana told Croatian magazine Net.
Who See?, Montenegro
Hailing from the picturesque Bay of Kotor, Montenegrin hip-hop duo Who See? are known for their sense of fun and humorous music videos. Here the pair, made up of Dedduh (Dejan Dedović) and Noyz (Mario Đorđević), invite us on an escape into Montenegrin village life. We’re introduced to a number of local characters: old gentlemen playing chess on a bench, bored teenagers, dancing grandmas and a woman undertaking some rather aggressive hoeing in her garden. Enjoy the seamless fusion of hip-hop vibes with the enchanting strains of pan flutes.
Anthem of a Generation
Dubioza Kolektiv, Bosnia and Herzegovina
People have long been saying that Bosnian reggae-dub group Dubioza Kolektiv represent the voice of a lost generation, so why not capitalise on it? Anthem of a Generation is a fine example of Dubioza Kolektiv’s innovative approach to music, combining reggae, hip-hop and dub with a distinctive Bosnian flavour. Indeed, it seems a whole generation took part in the making of the music video: 400 willing volunteers, to be exact, all of whom responded to an open call via the band’s social media. The crowds romping through Sarajevo sing of the perennial stress and negativity of a generation that “worries for a living” and also allegedly “lives in the asshole of civilisation” — strong words that don’t seem to impress the riot police too much.
Versatile Ukrainian singer-dancer-songwriter Dmytro Monatyk, known as MONATIK, has made a name for himself with his tantalising pop-disco sound. His track УВЛИУВТ (pronounced “uvliuvt”) takes its name from the Russian acronym for “Fell in love and hit the dancefloor”. No doubt the song and mesmerising music video will have you dancing in no time, and who knows, maybe even falling in love. Monatik is a TV talent show stalwart, having competed in the X-Factor, Everybody Dance! and Star Ring, and served as a mentor on the children’s version of The Voice — where will he pop up next?
Kayah feat. Idan Raichel, Poland
If the weather hasn’t quite realised it’s summer yet, have no fear: join in Kayah’s indoor dance party, complete with food truck, fairy lights and an unexpected drumming band. In a nod to the singer’s Jewish heritage, this lively pop track is infused with the funky sound of klezmer and features music by iconic Israeli singer-songwriter Idan Raichel. Beyond producing stellar tunes, Kayah is kind of a class act. Not afraid to stand up for her principles, she took part in Poland’s anti-government demonstrations in May — a move that reportedly saw her barred from appearing at the National Festival of Polish Song (this was not too much of a loss, however, as the event was postponed due to a subsequent boycott by many participating artists). In the words of Kayah, “appreciate what you have, forget what you don’t, stop worrying about the future” and pump up the volume.
Paulie Garand feat. Lenny, Czech Republic
The free tour around the New East continues as Paulie Garand transports us to the picturesque Czech capital, Prague. The rapper is joined by singer Lenny, who is delighted with this turn of events, singing that “we are living in paradise”. The couple’s idyllic summer day includes strolls in the park, piano playing, a leisurely coffee, skateboarding and a good deal of time spent standing in front of walls. A lovely time indeed, and that’s before we even mention the chicken that makes an appearance halfway through. With its VHS aesthetics and young hipster types skateboarding and hanging out in abandoned buildings, this music video may feel somewhat familiar to regular readers of The Calvert Journal.
19-year-old singer Moniqué shot to fame when she won the Lithuanian edition of the X-Factor in 2016. Famed for her blue hair, here Moniqué seems to have been reincarnated as a young man, who wakes up and embarks on a day of petty crime. He engages in some ruthless photobombing, then makes off with someone’s newspaper, a can of Red Bull and a bouquet, before eventually arriving at the market, where he meets the real Moniqué. Together, the pair pilfer a box of cherries and drive off into the distance, remorseless. While we at The Calvert Journal cannot condone such behaviour, we can certainly recommend this endlessly catchy burst of Baltic pop.
Jah Khalib feat. Makvin, Kazakhstan
Almaty-born but with roots in Azerbaijan, rising star Jah Khalib has gained fame across the former Soviet Union for his rap tracks infused with eastern beats and melodies. Jah is not the romantic hero in his mellow Leila, but a storyteller marooned on a tiny moonlit island. He recounts the story of an artist infatuated with a girl (Leila, we must assume), endlessly creating pieces of art to surprise and please his muse. Disclaimer: Leila was actually released last year, but is enjoying a resurgence thanks to the release of the long-awaited music video.
Vremya i Steklo, Ukraine
Ukrainian pop duo Vremya i Steklo’s Back2Leto is a veritable feast for the eyes and ears. The video game- and glitch art-inspired music video channels an 80s vibe and invites you to step into the most psychedelic summer you’ve ever experienced. Moving from a delightfully verdant swimming pool to a car park and on to a rave via a hologram involving a baseball bat, the pair enjoy some alarmingly lurid drinks and pull off some enviable dance moves together with their respective entourages. We’re unsure of the significance of dancing with a packet of crisps, but we’re certain we won’t forget this track’s mantra in a hurry: “Back2Leto! Back to reality!” We’re going to need a sit-down after this bout of overstimulation.
All the best
Delia & Macanache, Romania
The first collaboration between singer Delia and hip-hop artist Macanache, All the best is a parody of family dynamics and the politics of flying the nest. Overbearing mum or mother-in-law? Delia and Macanache feel your pain. Here they sing the plaintive song of a mother desperate to cling onto her grownup child, imploring them to stay with her. The challenging mum in question is actually played by Delia’s real life mother-in-law, although the singer has been keen to point out that the song is absolutely not inspired by her own life! Enjoy this music video both for its relatability and fashion inspiration.