Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

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Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby boviex » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:52 am UTC

I'd like some recommendations for good singers. The only requirements are:
- An amazing voice
- Not in English
I don't care male/female, solo/duet/group, kpop/opera, whatever. If you can post a YouTube link so I can get an idea of what they sound like, so much the better. Thanks!
Edit: I'm not sure if that counts as posting copyrighted material, but I guess if YouTube is okay with it that means it's okay?
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Ermes Marana » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:57 am UTC

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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Microscopic cog » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:20 am UTC

De Dijk is one of my favourite bands who sing in Dutch.

And one of my favourite not-English music has to be the music from the musical/theatre thingy Zie de Mannen Vallen by Hauser Orkater

If you like some heavier stuff, there is some sweet French Black Metal, like Amesoeurs, Deathspell Omega and Alcest.

Oh and another great band, from Portugal and also immensely popular in Portugal but not anywhere else, are Mao Morta, their singer is definitely special, up to you if his voice is amazing.

There is also this beautiful folk band called Silent Stream of Godless Elegy who sing, despite their English name, in Czech.

And you probably know this guy for that one hit he had, Une belle histoire, but his other songs are pretty sweet as well, so check that out if you're into french pop from the 90's.

And despite what has been said about this band, you can't deny that the singer has a great voice. Rammstein are a bit notorious and probably have a bad reputation to anyone who isn't into metal, but seriously if you're not convinced of the fact that they're worth listening to, listen to this. My 56 year old mother who thought they were Nazis was convinced and even told me she would like to see them live.

Anyway, in stead of trying to match your vague descriptions I just posted most of the "foreign" music I love.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby SirMustapha » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:35 pm UTC

Milton Nascimento. Fine examples: Travessia (don't mind the video, just the audio), Fazenda, Nuvem Cigana (from the classic Clube da Esquina, one of the most important records in the history of Brazilian pop music).

Elis Regina. Every single video here is a must-see: O Bêbado e a Equilibrista, Águas de Março, Corcovado (an incredible duel between her and Hermeto Pascoal in Montreux, 1979).

Gilberto GIl. Domingo no Parque (along with the Mutantes -- a historic performance, a classic in every sense), Expresso 2222, Marginália II (Brazilian psychedelia!).

Legião Urbana, with Renato Russo (several levels below, but still worth mentioning). Vento no Litoral, Pais e Filhos, Esperando por Mim (bad sound quality, but enough to give an idea).
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Dirk » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:12 pm UTC

One of my personal favourites is About a Tree by Avishai Cohen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgMgYsmuwpI
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby SirMustapha » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:43 pm UTC

"Amazing" is debatable, but I like Fito Paez. Here is Mariposa Tecknicolor.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:16 pm UTC

/does what microscopic cog did

This is the first song I heard from Siddharta. I don't understand Any of it, but I like everything they've made, except their metal album (I think it is called Japan).

A whole album, really the only one I ever listened to, by Myslovitz, out of Poland.

It is best I not get started on DDT. Well, I'll leave it at that. I saw them live in June 2005 in St Petersburg, and bought all their albums before I left Russia. Propavshi bez Vesti was the newest, and still is one of my favorites, not that I know what most of those songs are about.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Kizyr » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:56 am UTC

Do you have any way to narrow down what you consider an "amazing voice"? About 80% of the music I listen to (among the music with vocals) isn't in English, so I could probably make some suggestions, but it's a rather wide net. If I had some idea of what you like right now then it might help -- or even a few more adjectives might help. KF
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby boviex » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:33 am UTC

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.

Kizyr, I deliberately made a wide net; my tastes are somewhat eclectic. Just looking for international music preferably with a focus on vocal talent.
If that's too vague, then maybe something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGHRcuPtURE
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby TankerMan » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:30 am UTC

Dude, we have art music (or "classical music", or "whatever")! We have bombastic choruses in Italian by Puccini, bombastic arias in German by Wagner, haunting melodies in French by Delibes, and skin-tearing songs in Russian by Shostakovich. Granted, though, these blokes are just the ones that wrote the tunes. You need some folks to actually play them!

Some of my favorites:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-F-wmPo2T0
End of Act 2 of Puccini's Turandot
The prince solves the last of the Turandot's three riddles, thus winning her as his wife. She is a bratty little witch, though, and cries to her daddy, the emperor about it. Prince totally bro's out by offering Turandot a riddle of his own, for her to figure out his name. If she can figure it out by the next day, he will die. Awesome! This company done a good job.

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlr90NLDp-0
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Microscopic cog » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:43 pm UTC

Just posting to say that I look forward to hearing what you think of all the suggestions.

Because, you know, recommending stuff is fun but seeing if it had any effect is more fun.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Роберт » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:22 pm UTC

Yes, some comments on which you liked and which you didn't would be helpful.

I like Слот. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO4s4GQqt_U
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Giant Speck » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:22 pm UTC

I like Origa. She sings mostly in Russian, but she often adds English lyrics to her songs.

Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJjscA9Zvcw
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby The EGE » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:19 am UTC

I'm fond of "Christmas Tree" (Ёлка). Very...strange Russian singer.

This one is probably my favorite.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Giant Speck » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:33 am UTC

The EGE wrote:I'm fond of "Christmas Tree" (Ёлка). Very...strange Russian singer.

This one is probably my favorite.

YES! I love that song!

Plus... the flight attendant costume... hawt.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby eigengirl » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:29 pm UTC

Jacques Brel. I don't really have any words to describe how wonderful he was. He put so much emotion into his music.

My two favourites:
Amsterdam
Madeleine
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Andioje » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:42 pm UTC

I'm a big fan of Coeur De Pirate (French Canadienne)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaUI6Tvd1sA
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Dark567 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:59 pm UTC

I have an affinity for Sigur Ros. They sing in a constructed language called Vonlenska.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Dirk » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:52 pm UTC

eigengirl wrote:Jacques Brel. I don't really have any words to describe how wonderful he was. He put so much emotion into his music.

My two favourites:
Amsterdam
Madeleine

Those are very good indeed, my favourite by Brel is Ne Me Quitte Pas :)


I just noticed that the previous song I posted by Avihai Cohen does not really reflect the language they usually sing in, so here is another one:
Avishai Cohen - Halah
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Noiseman433 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:27 am UTC

boviex wrote:Kizyr, I deliberately made a wide net; my tastes are somewhat eclectic. Just looking for international music preferably with a focus on vocal talent.
If that's too vague, then maybe something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGHRcuPtURE

Édith Piaf was the vocalist that made that tune famous. You should listen to her.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby ndkid » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:13 pm UTC

I'd suggest Korpiklaani, they do some english songs but mainly sing in finnish. They do folk METAL.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0toFISIHzQ
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Various Varieties » Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:27 am UTC

Most of Björk's music is in English, but not all of it: here's "Vökuró" from her 2004 album Medúlla.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:03 am UTC

Los Amigos Invisibles.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby legopelle » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:24 pm UTC

This seems to have been some sort of catch-all-recommend-your-local-music-thread, so I'll join!

Fred Åkerström, Swedish singer interpreting our biggest geld from the 17th century. Incredible voice.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby curtis95112 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:57 am UTC

I'd recommend Park Hyo Shin. He's a wonderful Korean singer, he usually sings in Korean but you can find the occasional vid of him singing in English quite easily.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eELyUDiq490 - Gift (Korean song, despite the English title)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBRbP_5OyYg - 추억은 사랑을 닮아 (Memories resemble love)

And for those of you who prefer English songs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3RI73Hl08g - He sings "Listen" by Beyonce. Even if you don't listen to the other songs above, I really suggest you listen to this. Absolutely amazing performance.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:41 am UTC

Ok, here's my list of favourite music with non-english lyrics.

Asobi Seksu - mainly there earlier less pop-y stuff, - linky
Haggard - medieval metal, songs are in a mix of various European languages often including English, but not always - linky
Korpiklaani - folk metal (I know they've already been suggested though)
Ximena Sariñana - sings in Spanish - linky
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby freakish777 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:34 pm UTC

Garmarna (Swedish band) have some chilling songs (combination of the singer and the stringed instruments).
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby modularblues » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:07 am UTC

Kalafina (Japanese band formed by composer Yuki Kajiura)
Lacrimosa (had this one loop for a while :P)
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby kernelpanic » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:01 am UTC

Basically anything by El Trono de México, Alacranes Musical or K-Paz de la Sierra - all are duranguense bands. It's a regional mexican type of music, typically about a corny love story, but with very good tunes. They're also great to dance to, mostly because it's so easy (you don't dance so much as jog in place and sometimes shadow-box). My favorites are:
El Trono de México - Se Fue
Alacranes Musical - Por tu Amor
K-Paz de la Sierra - Pero Te vas a Arrepentir
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby theGoldenCalf; » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:43 pm UTC

それは彼女が言ったことだ!
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby AceAudacious » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:45 pm UTC

Meret Becker-Prise de Tete http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLlQXxNTARc

From my country, New Zealand: A (fairly European-sounding) Maori song called Po Karekare Ana http://youtu.be/ITee3lUKYmc

I'm liking Natacha Atlas
My favourite Jacques Brel tune is Ces Gens La: The enraged rant of a man considered unworthy of his lover
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Sasha » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:15 am UTC

Tuomari Nurmio- Finnish, sounds a bit like Tom Waits
Unsure who, but the lead vocalist for Yat-Kha- throat singing. That is all.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Igidich » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:48 pm UTC

In terms of sheer vocal ability (but also sheer eclecticism), Yma Sumac is a winner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-6eKroZeIg
She's often claimed to have the widest non-falsetto vocal range ever.

For fascination with language, I enjoy listening to Mani Matter just to let the strange sounds of Swiss German wash over me. It's also amazes me how much of a sense of comedy and even irony comes through in the way he sings his lyrics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty7gj3TACyo
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby SirMustapha » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:16 pm UTC

Area, the Italian jazz-rock band, is a good call. The vocal capabilities of Demetrio Stratos are severe. His solo work is wildly experimental, while his singing with Area was more focused and restrained. Impressive either way.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Zhu_Wuneng » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:32 am UTC

Tuvan throat-singing in general is a pretty unique use of the human voice and by definition usually not in English. A good place to start is Yat-Kha, as they have some Western elements in their music (and one CD where they cover Joy Division, Hank Williams Sr., and Kraftwerk). If you dig that you can move on to Alexei Orgrodov.

I also second Natacha Atlas.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Denebola » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:30 am UTC

If you don't mind the typical Japanese suggestion, I would give Sakamoto Maaya a try. She has a very clear, high voice that I find really enjoyable to listen to.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSRgL9DF0kc
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0L41jvh2kE&feature=related
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Cebactyan » Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:52 pm UTC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUiH0VCFiwo

Beautiful female vocals.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby Annihilist » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:38 pm UTC

Rammstein. One cannot deny their awesomeness.

Du Riechst so Gut (1995)
Rosenrot (2005)
Haifisch (2008)
Ich Will (2001)
Engel (1997) (Age restricted for some reason).

Incredibly diverse German industrial/metal band. Lyrics are incredible - look up translations, amazingly poetic and beautifully dark. Just overall brilliant band.

They may be controversial for some people. I don't get it myself, but whatever. They're good nonetheless.
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Re: Looking for music by good *non-english* singers

Postby keiki » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:38 pm UTC

I like those artists a lot:
in French: Zaz, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm88QAI8I5A and Stress, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWgLF1u1yXM
and in Italian: Noemi, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_ufVJHMPz4 and Lunapop, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04Cq9Lz_BtM

There is also really good Hungarian pop music, you can find some here: http://www.youtube.com/user/MR2Music/videos (MR2 is an Hungarian radio station).
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