Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unrealeased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Ensen Dhaif” from Emel off her 2017 album Ensen on Partisan Records.
Being the provocateur that she is, Emel has released yet another maverick-minded single entitled “Ensen Dhaif.” Allie Avital, the music video director for “Ensen Dhaif,” described to Nowness the kinetic essence of the song as “a rhythm of urgency, violence, and perhaps an uplifting sense of revolution.” Rigidly strummed strings ignite the song as Emel then swiftly comes in singing mellifluous Tunisian melodies. A myriad of eastern rhythms and instruments find there way into the climactic parts of the 4-minute track. The dynamic of volume-based drop out plays a disarming role in the song that demonstrates that sense of urgency. There’s rising tension between her voice, the hard bass-hitting electronic beat, and cascading of what sounds like a room full of percussionists synchronized to one ceremonial drum beat. It’s a song that’ll give you chills.
Emel has a show coming up in New York on later this month and then is touring throughout Europe. She’ll be playing in Seattle on May 17th at Meany Hall. Tickets can be purchased here. To keep tabs on her upcoming videos, news, and sophomore album Ensen check out her website or follow her on Facebook. But before you do, check out the music video directed by Allie Avital for “Ensen Dhaif” below.