Welcome to misfit moves, your travel and culture alternative! I invite you to spice up your playlists, keep things fresh, and push some cultural boundaries with this music curated from around the globe. Today’s feature: Thai pop.
I hope you like dumb pop music as much as I do. If you don’t want to admit your guilty pleasures, I’ll go first: my first love was Smash Mouth, and I can still remember singing along to “All Star” in the local mall. Yes, I still know all the words.
What kind of songs rule the airwaves in Thailand? You won’t find any history lessons, brainy lyrics, or music theory in this list – just fun. Turn off your mind, pump up the jams, and crack a smile – it’s #MusicMonday!
Note: I did my best to translate the titles where only Thai was available. Please submit corrections if you have them!
Palmy – Ka Ka Ka
It is easy to see why Thai/Belgian songstress Palmy is huge in parts of Asia. She is wholesome, quirky, and effortlessly melodic.
This 2011 track offers a Thai-Rockabilly sound that you won’t hear anywhere else. The video carries forth the mischevious and playful nature of the song itself, with Palmy dancing around with a bird mask with some rather awkward looking people.
Cyndi Seui – It’s A Rhythm
A thickly laid electronic groove betrays unmistakable French-Electro roots. I love the laser lights and goofy rock star poses in this video. And that tiny red guitar!
While you classify Cyndi Seui as more alternative than pop, this song is too catchy for me not to include it here.
Fans of Chromeo and ilk, ready to get funked up?
Kratae R-Siam – Meri
This. Song. Is. Ridiculous. A ridiculous 87 MILLION people have watched the video on YouTube. Not quite at Gangnam Style’s level, but we’re in the ballpark. These cheeselicious beats wouldn’t be out of place in a Mortal Kombat film, either.
The lyrics follow a girl named Meri who laments her lover Pra-rod. When he confusingly tells her “You are a giant and I am a human. There is no way we can be together” Meri blames bad karma for her misfortune and settles for a “nice guy”. Some tropes are universal.
Pop Pongkool feat. Oat Pramote
Horns, accordion, crooning, a rap breakdown, and tabletop twerking. Put that into a delicious smoothie and throw it down the hatch. I have no earthly idea what is going on in the video, but this pastel pastiche is an amusing watch. I half expected Wes Anderson to come strolling down the stairs to join the party.
Tata Young – Sexy, Naughty, Bitchy
Two years after Britney and Xtina worried American parents with “I’m A Slave 4 U” and “Dirrty”, Thai families had to deal with this monster hit.
My mouth never takes a holiday I always shock with the things I say I was always the kid in school who turned up to each class bout an hour late and When it comes to the guys I’d lay, I’d always pick the ones who won’t figure out that I was clearly rebel to the idea of monogamy
If you’re still craving more Thai tunes, go listen to some more now. Along with the more traditional music in that post and this Thai pop party, I’ll be diving into my true love in the next edition: alternative. I’ve already heard some great new stuff from Thailand and can’t wait to share with you next week.
Leave a comment below. I’d love to get suggestions for future themes or to discuss some more Thai pop!