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Music on Trial: September 20

Much of contemporary radio is dominated by top hits of the moment. Flip to KDWB, KS95, KTWN or Cities 97 today and you are bound to hear “Royals” by Lorde within the hour. Unfortunately, not all popular music worldwide makes its mark on the Minnesota market, but thanks to websites like and, we have access to the hit lists and top songs that we aren’t as obviously exposed to. Consider using a study break to broaden your musical horizons and listen to some of these international favorites:

Germany: “Im Ascheregen” by Casper

The impressive instrumentals in this song give it a strong emotional foundation, which is carried through by harsh, but impassioned, German rap-singing.

Russia: “Znak Vodoleya” by Vintaj

This song is reminiscent of “Stereo Love” by Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina, in both sound and sensation. Perhaps the greatest thing this song has going for it, however, is the intriguing video, which begins by showing human representations of the astrological signs. The geometric-backed dance clips that follow are so captivating you find yourself wanting to watch again and again just to piece it all together and fully understand – even if you can’t understand the words.

Norway: “The Fox” by Ylvis

This lighthearted song blends educational children’s lyrics with high-energy club beats, making for a surprisingly catchy, albeit ridiculously silly, tune.

“Ducks go quack and fish go blub, and the seal goes OW OW OW. / But there’s one sound that no one knows… / WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY!?”

Austria: “Halt dein MAUL” by Y-Titty

There is nothing not to love about this song. It is fast and fun and has a creative and entertaining video to boot.

Korea: “Touch Love” by Yoon Mi Rae

With a digital piano/guitar sound and slow, easy vocals, “Touch Love” is reminiscent of the guilty pleasure love songs many of us have on CDs left over from the ’90s.

France: “Formidable” by Stromae

Stromae’s unified lyrics and sound tell the heartbreaking narrative of a man drowning in the misery of recently lost love. The authenticity of the video, comprised of clips from hidden cameras, adds to the emotional impact of the song.

Brazil: “Piradinha” by Gabriel Valim

Light and fast-paced, “Piradinha” is a bright song that can translate to belting in the car, dancing in the Pause, working out at Skoglund Athletic Center or just getting going in the morning.

Turkey: “Tesir Altinda” by Mustafa Sandal

Strings, multi-dimensional vocals and a trance-inducing beat give this song a deeply intimate feel that sucks you in and doesn’t let go until the final echoes fade away.

As ignorant as we may be at times of the rest of the world’s music, listeners in other countries are often very aware of ours. The following songs dominate many international charts as well as our own. According to, which releases a weekly list of top sales across 65 countries, the following songs are not only prevalent in the USA, but worldwide:

“Wake Me Up” by Avicii

“Roar” by Katy Perry

“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke

“Applause” by Lady Gaga

“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk

While it is worthwhile to recognize our international influence in the music industry, it is perhaps even more important to realize that what we hear on the radio is not necessarily the same as what our friends across the pond are listening to.

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