An intercontinental joyride with great tunes from 10 countries. Cheaper than a plane ride and just as fun (well, almost).

Want to travel but don’t have enough funds? Me, too. Lucky for us, listening to music from a place is basically the same thing as actually going there! Skip the airport security lines and join me on a trip around the world in 10 sweet tunes.

Providence, Rhode Island : EDGAR CLINKS – Surfboard

Let’s start our trip in the beautiful city of Providence, Rhode Island. With his laid back song “Surfboard,” local hero Edgar Clinks gives listeners a taste of a lazy summer day in the city. Through clean guitar work and descriptive lyricism, Clinks conjures images of spending warm days by the river.

Cuba: BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB – Chan Chan

Next we travel to Cuba. The popular Buena Vista Social Club, a conglomerate of some of Cuba’s best artists, puts forth some of its best work in the form of its song “Chan Chan.” The twangy guitar is complemented by the gentle tapping of hand drums, which creates a dark but calm atmosphere.

Brazil : MARCELO CAMELO & PAULINHO MOSKA – Liberdade

Marcelo Camelo and Paulinho Moska take us to Brazil next with their song “Liberdade.” Intricate guitar work and the warm voice of Marcelo Camelo create an delicate, emotional tune that warms the soul like a sunny day in Rio.

Ecuador: MARIA USBECK – Bosque De Bambú

Next we jet off to Ecuador with the help of Maria Usbeck, former frontwoman of the indie pop band Selebrities. This upbeat electropop tune is immaculately polished and will put you in a sunny mood wherever you are. It is catchy to a fault and the calm, cool vibe of this song is sure to make you have this song on repeat.  

Zambia: AMANAZ– Khala My Friend

For the next leg of our trip, we cross the Atlantic on the way over to Zambia with Amanaz. A part of the Zam-rock movement of the 70’s, Amanaz sounds familiar and melancholy with its Velvet Underground-esque basslines. Lead singer Keith Kabwe’s voice has a beautifully rough quality that lends the song a raw, emotional feeling. One wonders why this song isn’t more popular.

France: MOUNIKA – Car sans toi je m’ennuie

We travel up to France next for one of the silkiest tunes out there: “Car sans toi je m’ennuie” by Mounika. With a bouncy beat and flawless vocals, Mounika conjures images of strolling along the Seine in the early morning. Her style is reminiscent of French legend Edith Piaf with a modern, polished twist. The song’s slight electronic influences are unobtrusive and bring the song into the modern age.   

Czech Republic: THE PLASTIC PEOPLE OF THE UNIVERSE – Chce Se Mi Spát

Let’s pop over to the Czech Republic for one of the more unconventional songs of our trip: “Chce Se Mi Spát” by The Plastic People of the Universe. The entirety of the song is spoken word with a soothing instrumental in the background. The vocals are nonchalant yet full of emotion, and even non-Czech-speakers can tell a great story is being told. While a bit unconventional, “Chce Se Mi Spát” is a beautiful example of Soviet-era Czech rock and roll.  

Indonesia: VIRA TALISA – Walking Back Home

Singer Vira Talisa welcomes us to Indonesia next with her song “Walking Back Home.” It’s a melancholy song reminiscent of 1950s and 1960s American pop music. Vira Talisa’s unobtrusive vocals and gentle harmonies create a warm, dreamy atmosphere that will have you hitting the repeat button.  

Japan: LES RALLIZES DÉNUDÉS – White Awakenning (Version 2)

Influential band Les Rallizes Dénudés give us a taste of the Japanese psychedelic scene in the 1960s with their song “White Awakenning (Version 2)”. With a lazy, bouncy feel, “White Awakenning (Version 2)” feels like the inspiration for every Tame Impala song. Les Rallizes Dénudés comes across as a lot more sincere than Tame Impala, however, and have created an absolute masterpiece of psychedelic music with this song.  

Canada: MUNYA – Des Bisous Partout

We conclude our trip in Montréal with singer MUNYA. Her song “Des Bisous Partout” is a breezy love song with a psychedelic twist. MUNYA’s ethereal vocals wrap around the listener while a catchy bassline punctuates background harmonies. “Des Bisous Partout” feels like falling in love, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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