Latitudes: The Music You Must Hear To End The Summer Five tunes from West Africa, India and Mexico (by way of Brooklyn) to round out your summer.
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Latitudes: The Music You Must Hear In August

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Latitudes: The Music You Must Hear In August

Latitudes: The Music You Must Hear In August

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here at the end of summer, lots of us are feeling like our vacation travels are now just a distant memory. Still, if you're not quite ready to settle back into the daily routine, our colleague Anastasia Tsioulcas at NPR Music has some suggestions for end-of-summer listening, music that we hope will take you far, far away. Good morning.

ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS, BYLINE: Hi, great to be with you.

MONTAGNE: Anastasia, you cover music from around the world. Let's take a listen to the first piece before we start talking about it.

(SOUNDBITE OF BANDA DE LOS MUERTOS SONG, "CUMBIA DE JACOBO")

MONTAGNE: A brass band, a Latin beat, so who are we listening to?

TSIOULCAS: Where does all good Mexican brass band music come from? New York City.

MONTAGNE: (Laughter).

TSIOULCAS: Two guys in Brooklyn named Oscar Noriega and Jacob Garchik, they fell completely in love with the sound of brass bands from the state of Sinaloa. So they decide to make their own. And they've just released an album, which is covers of very traditional banda tunes and their own material. And they're performing all around the city as Banda de los Muertos.

MONTAGNE: And the name of that song?

TSIOULCAS: "Cumbia De Jacobo."

MONTAGNE: Really driven by rhythm, that last song we've been listening to. I understand you've got something a little bit more laid back that would take us through September, maintaining the relaxing quality of summer.

TSIOULCAS: I have just the thing, a very tranquil tune. It's from a musician named Seckou Keita, who plays a beautiful 22-stringed instrument that is something between a lute and a guitar and a harp. It's called the kora.

(SOUNDBITE OF SECKOU KEITA SONG, "THE INVISIBLE MAN")

TSIOULCAS: He has a beautiful new album called "22 Strings," just like his instrument. And he has a tune called "The Invisible Man," and it's very reflective and meditative. He wrote it about his father, who was absent for most of his life. It has such a beautiful, dazzling density, but it's also very hypnotic. And I think it's just perfect for creating a kind of stillness.

MONTAGNE: That has a definite watery, take-a-dip-in-the-summer feel. What a nice tune.

TSIOULCAS: Yeah, very beautiful and sunny and sparkling but also very still.

MONTAGNE: Summers are often defined by an entirely different kind of song, one big hit that becomes an earworm. For this summer for you, what would be that song?

TSIOULCAS: I have to go with a big tune from a Bollywood film called "All Is Well." And everything, frankly, was not well with this movie. The reviews have been absolutely awful. But most big Indian films, the super commercial ones, have what's called an item song, and it's a very catchy dance number. And sometimes, it's a little sexy and very often has nothing to do with the plot. It's just there for sheer entertainment value. And this film, "All Is Well," had a big item song, and it called "Nachan Farrate," which means dance with full power. And for me, this became that big earworm of a song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NACHAN FARRATE")

KANIKA KAPOOR AND MEET BROS: (Singing in foreign language).

MONTAGNE: This is fun.

TSIOULCAS: Yeah, it's all about I'm going to go out on the dance floor and dance to the beat of the drum. And it's just - it's nothing but fun.

MONTAGNE: All right, well, Anastasia Tsioulcas of NPR Music, thanks so much for joining us, and enjoy the rest of your summer.

TSIOULCAS: Renee, this was so much fun. Thanks for having me.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NACHAN FARRATE")

KANIKA KAPOOR AND MEET BROS: (Singing in foreign language).

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