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SuggestiON-AIR: Best Non-English Song

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ATL | 14:47 UK time, Monday, 2 May 2011

The sun is out, it's a bank holiday and we're thinking locations for our summer holidays! Which lead us to talking about our favourite non-english language song. The tunes to soundtrack the convertible(really the cheapest and smallest hire car hatchback) road trip along the mediterranean coast, or through the vineyard valleys or perhaps a sweaty underground club in the middle of Berlin. Who knows!

Let us know yours by hitting us up on Facebook or Twitter or text us on 81771 during the show tonight (8-10pm). As always, we'll read out as many as we can.


Blur - To The End

Phily Taggart - ATL Presenter


Speaking and understanding other languages, for me, is akin to carrying out a full detailed exploration of the frontal lobe. I have never excelled with grasp of the foreign tongue, however do love to hear people speak it, especially French, it sounds so effortlessly cool and beautiful. To The End by Blur is such a stunning example of this. Albarn sounds like he is embraced in a lovers grip riding clockwise on a Parisian carousel with an incomprehensibly attractive French lady. This appeared as a B Side on the ‘To the End’ single. On paper it could be seen as a pretentious move but on record it is stunningly delicate and emotive.

Yann Tiersen and Elizabeth Fraser - Kala


Amy McGarrigle - ATL Content Assistant

What a beauty of a collaboration! French composer Yann Tiersen (who's created some absolutely stunning albums and sountracks including Amelie, Good Bye Lenin!) and the glorious voice of Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser. I have no idea what she is singing, and assumed it was French. However, I've since learnt from peoples comments on youtube that she's doing her good ol'trick of making up her own sounds which is one of her trademarks. None the less, it feels inherently like continental europe; the charming Italien-esque guitar, the french sounding floating vocal and all surrounded in a blanket of orchestration by the end. Simply gorgeous!




Serge Gaunsbourg and Brigitte Bardot - Bonnie and Clyde


Steven Rainey - ATL Buddy

Whilst Serge Gainsbourg is undoubtedly an absolute titan in the world of popular music, 'Bonnie and Clyde' might just be his masterpiece. A million miles away from his more well known 'controversial' material, 'Bonnie and Clyde' shows Gainsbourg to be a master of economy, with a bed of bass and lush strings anchoring this song about the doomed lovers that are such a part of American culture.

An unforgettable melody and an unforgettable performance, even if you speak no French at all, you are left in no doubt as to what is going on in this song. Pure excellence.

Sigur Ros - Olsen Olsen
Paul McClean - ATL Producer


Yeah I know its made up but its not English alright? From the debut album, ágætis byrjun, this track doesnt even really get going until about four minutes in. Thats ok, by that stage we're immersed in a pool of Icelandic calm through plinking pianos and strings. All off a sudden with a drum fill the Great Geysir erupts lifting the whole thing into a crescendo of noise, harmony and joy. It sounds like the birth of a child, initially quite calm, then all hell breaks loose but ultimately you're left with something utterly pure and precious.



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