Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Tunes from Southeast Asia's Cafes

VRC Cafe in Kuala Lumpur, where I first began chronicling the music of cafes

I was sitting in VCR in Kuala Lumpur when I first heard Birdy’s voice sing Skinny Love. I'm sure the song was playing all over the U.S., but I wouldn’t have heard it if I had not been in VCR at that moment. Years ago, I would have asked a staff member at the café what song they were playing, or I would have walked away never knowing it. But it’s 2015 and thanks to the wonderful apps, Kazaa and Shazam, I was able to learn the name of the song without having to ask anyone. Since then, I began to take note of all the beautiful songs I heard in cafes throughout Asia. Here are 27 of my favorite songs. I picked the number 27 because of my age, and each song was selected because it represented a certain mood and feeling in each place I visited.
  1. Birdy – Skinny Love: VCR,  Kuala  Lumpur, Malaysia
  2. Sophia Zelmani – Free Now: Comma Coffee, Vientiane
  3. Jasmine Thompson – When I was Your Man: Piccolo Café, Kuching, Malaysia
  4. A Fine Frenzy – Borrowed Time: V Café, Mandalay, Myanmar
  5. Nina Simone – Love Me, Leave Me: Naked Espresso, Vientiane, Laos
  6. Sultan Khan – Tarana: Hanoi Social Club, Hanoi, Vietnam
  7. Emily Wells – Symphony 1 in the Barrel of A Gun: Cong Caphe, Hanoi, Vietnam
  8. Slackwax – Dying Day: Saffron Café, Luang Prabang, Laos
  9. Air – All I need: L’Usine, Saigon, Vietnam
  10. Devotchka – Lunnaya Pogonka, Boon Bar, Yangon, Myanmar
  11. Radiohead – Reckoner, Java Café, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  12. Bruce Brubaker – Metamorphosis: Metamorphosis Four, Quest, Bangkok, Thailand
  13. Cinnamon Chasers – Sabalia, Dolcetto Café, Chiang Mai, Thailand
  14. Michael Nyman – The Heart Asks Pleasure First, Marble Arch, Chiang Mai
  15. Feist – Honey, Honey: Full Stop, Bangkok, Thailand
  16. Kimbra – Settle Down, Starbucks, Saigon, Vietnam
  17. Elizabeth Ziman – Mistake, Toby’s Estate, Singapore
  18. Wax Tailor – Say Yes, Café Genius, Yangon, Myanmar
  19.  Nouvelle Vague – In A Manner of Speaking, Brown Café, Phone Penh, Cambodia
  20. Boy Tedson – Killing Time, New Leaf Book Café, Siem Reap, Cambodia
  21. State of Bengal - Chittagong Chill, Kafe Roubaix, Chiang Mai
  22. London Grammer – Wasting my Young Years, The Bar, Chiang Mai, Thailand
  23. Dillon - Thirteen Thirtyfive, LoCal Café, Chiang Mai, Thailand
  24. Princess Chelsea – The Cigarette Duet, Doma Café, Luang Prabang, Laos
  25. Yuna – Stay, Three Little Birds, Seniman’s, Ubud, Bali
  26. Ingrid Michaelson – You and I, ChanNueng Café, Chiang Mai, Thailand
  27. B. Fleischmann - A Letter from Home, Artisan, Chiang Mai, Thailand


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