Premiere: Bachar Mar-Khalifé – Ya Balad

Translated as as “Oh Country”, the title track of Bachar Mar-Khalifé‘s third album doesn’t take an interpreter to understand the heartache on show. As the Lebanese composer yearns for the country he knew as a child, there’s a feeling of sadness and trepidation that hangs over his words, pulling at the heartstrings with an impassioned delivery as the downcast piano riff winds along, punctuated by subdued, descending chords that rattle through the composition.

Sometimes tender, at others times robust, there’s a sense of bittersweet nostalgia pervading throughout as he sings not only of loss, but also in fond memory of the Lebanon he knew in his formative years; a place of “sun, snow, lemon trees, jasmine, wine, arak, flesh and raw kibbeh”.

Ya Balad LP is out 16th October on Infiné Music. Pre-order from iTunes.

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