Best tunes of 2010: #5 Bedouin Soundclash (feat. Cœur de pirate) “Brutal hearts”

At number five on my Best tunes of 2010 list, we have the other band from Kingston, Ontario: Bedouin Soundclash. Now based out of Toronto, the reggae and ska group was formed in 2001 by Jay Malinowski, Eon Sinclair, and Pat Pengelly. They had a relatively big radio hit with “When the night feels my song” off their second album, 2004’s “Sounding a mosaic”, and have since released two more albums but have been inactive since 2010. However, a new single was released just last year with the promise of a new album, possibly this year.

“Brutal hearts” appears on their 2010 album “Light the horizon”, never released as a proper single but there were two videos made available on YouTube (one of which you can enjoy below). The track doesn’t sound much like the band’s usual reggae self and this is not just because it features Québec singer/songwriter Béatrice Martin (aka Cœur de Pirate) in a duet with Malinowski. It’s a mostly drum driven track. The drummer at the time, Sekou Lumumba, is the other star of this show, getting under our skin with his rim shot, ticky tacky rhythms. Bassist Sinclair sidles up beside him, giving this not so laidback beat some muscle. And all the while, the male/female, rough-hewn versus smooth like wine, trading vocals yearn for love, any kind, whether or not it’s true or good.

“I don’t mind at all
I don’t mind that you only call me when you want
And I’m just glad you want me at all”

The song is like a tango. A sweaty and needy dance, late at night, in a dark basement club. The drummer starts the aforementioned rhythm, tired from a night of playing but somehow finding his second wind. The bassist, and I’m imagining an upright bass here, leans heavily against a ledge and so does his instrument, his shirt undone a number of buttons, whiskey on the rocks close to hand. And from somewhere deep in the night, a cello joins in, a sad and plaintive call. They are all only playing for the couple on the dance floor. They’ve never seen each other before and will likely never see each other again. They are the song. And for this brief moment, they are love.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 2010 list, click here.

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