1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Karen Zoid”

Toe Vind Ek Jou – Francois van Coke & Karen Zoid

Francois van Coke & Karen Zoid

Francois van Coke & Karen Zoid

This is what it has all been about. Anton Goosen’s ‘Bloemetjie Gedenk Aan Jou’, Bernoldus Niemand, Koos Kombuis, Johannes Kerkorrel and the whole Voelvry movement, the blues guys like Valiant Swart, Piet Botha and Die Blues Broers, Arno Carstens and the Springbok Nude Girls, Afrikaans punk from Fokofpolsiekar. All of these guys were building up to this one perfect Afrikaans song.

‘Toe Vind Ek Jou’ is undoubtedly the best Afrikaans song I have heard. It has everything, atmosphere, emotion, a great tune, brilliant vocals and harmonising. It is no wonder that at the time of writing this, the Youtube video had already had over 4.6 million views and spawned numerous cover versions (the Varsity Sing version is one of the better ones). In comparison Bok van Blerk’s ‘De La Rey’ which was also hugely popular and which has been around a lot longer only has 1.6 million views. I had sort of got to thinking that there were no surprises left in the Afrikaans music world but ‘Toe Vind Ek Jou’ proved me wrong I’m pleased to say.

This song with its almost understated soft drumming highlights the talents of 2 leading lights of South African music. Francois van Coke found his way to this song via the noise of Fokofpolisiekar and the heavy rock of van Coke Kartel while Karen Zoid has been ploughing her own furrow as our foremost ‘rock chick’ for a good while now. And while ‘Toe Vind Ek Jou’ is essentially a ballad, there is a feeling of a tension underlying the vocals and the lyrics hint that this relationship was not always a bed of roses. The first line ‘Ek lê my wapens neer’ (‘I lay down my arms’) introduces the surrender of the couple to their love which has survived a stormy relationship and as they have matured the anger of youth has dwindled and they are left clinging to each other. Possibly the best moment in the song is when Francois and Karen sing the lines ‘Ek het genoeg gegee, Ek het genoeg geskree, Ek het lankal terug geleer’ the second time around when Karen’s higher pitched voice goes head to head with Francois’ gravelly one and the result is something quite beautiful.

There are no pretensions in this song but plenty of control. Zoid and van Coke could have been tempted to make this just another Afrikaans rock song, but somehow they turned it into something special.

I have gone back to wondering if there will now be no further surprises coming from the Afrikaans music scene in South Africa, but I’m a little less certain of myself this time round.

Where to find it:
Francois van Coke – Francis van Coke (2015)


Varsity sing version:

Oh My Love – Karen Zoid

Oh My Love – Karen Zoid

Karen Zoid - Chasing The Sun

Karen Zoid – Chasing The Sun

‘Oh My Love/Give All Your Love To Me’ sung in a semi-sneer is what your ears are assaulted with as soon as you put Karen Zoid’s second album ‘Chasing The Sun’ on. It’s as if she wanted you to realise from the outset that she was not just a one hit wonder with ‘Poles Apart’. The message is very clear – I rocked, I rock and I will rock.

And what more would you expect from the First Lady of Rockchickness? Despite the real heavier grungy-growl sound of the song only hitting at about a minute in to the song, the attitude is there from the start. You can hear it in Karen’s voice and the guitars seem almost as if they are trembling with the anticipation of her breaking loose.

But it doesn’t then descend into a barrage of sound noisefest, it maintains an excellent melody. Karen seems to suck you into the belly of the song and before you know it, you have been swallowed wholeheartedly into it, only to suddenly be spat out at 3 minutes 42 seconds. You will be a bit disorientated for a second, but then will find the repeat button and you’re off on the journey again.

Where to find it:
Chasing The Sun – Karen Zoid, Just Music, (2003), CDJUST171

Beautiful – Karen Zoid

Beautiful – Karen Zoid

Karen Zoid - Chasing The Sun

Karen Zoid – Chasing The Sun

South Africa’s first Afrikaans rock chick takes it a little calmer on this track from her second album ‘Chasing The Sun.’ She had fallen in love with Don Reinecke, the guitarist in her band and she penned this beautiful ballad to him. ‘Beautiful’ was not only a love song, but it also made us aware of the abilities of Zoid in that she could do more than just churn out rock classics. She had a softer side.

The song had an effect as Karen and Don married in 2004, the year after it was released. Sadly the marriage only lasted till 2010, but the music lives on. I am sure that many a couple have adopted this as ‘their song’ and perhaps it has been played at a number of weddings. With it Zoid showed that she was a talented songwriter and not a one album wonder.

Where to find it:
Chasing The Sun – Karen Zoid, Just Music, (2003), CDJUST171


You’re beautiful every time we touch
When you make me laugh, when you think too much
You’re beautiful without your clothes
Everybody knows your love for me, it shows

And it shines through, shines through
Everything we do
I need you, I need you
I want to swim across this crowded room
And whisper in your ear.

You’re beautiful, when you’re being polite
She just fell off her chair and you gave her a light
You’re beautiful in your ugly shoes
You know that I still hate them, but I can stand by you

Because you shine through, shine through
Everything I do
I need you, I need you

I want to shout it from a rooftop
Shout it out to the moon…

I write another bagatelle
’cause lately I’m beside myself
Take me to the stars, show me the room
in the corner of your heart
Take me on a trip
buy me a ticket for the plane
I want to see, I have to say…

You’re beautiful, you know it’s true
I could go black, I could go blue
You’re beautiful, there are no lies
Only the river, only the sky

I guess I do it to myself, I sometimes think that
I need help
You know one and one is two
It’s a different kind of you

My baby, I love you.
Baby, I love you.

(Written by Karen Zoid)

Ons Soek Rock En Roll – Karen Zoid

Ons Soek Rock En Roll – Karen Zoid

Chasing The Sun - Karen Zoid, Just Music, (2007), CDJUST171

Chasing The Sun – Karen Zoid

After the runaway success of ‘Poles Apart’, Karen Zoid’s debut album, all eyes (and ears) were on ‘Chasing The Sun’, her second album released in 2003. And it didn’t disappoint. Just the title of the track ‘Ons Soek Rock En Roll’ should have been enough to let people know that she was carrying on where she left off.

‘Ons Soek…’ has a go at the X-Factor generation and everything fake that people think cool. Karen is looking for the real deal, she wants boerewors on a braai not beans out of a tin. She wants people to recognise raw talent as opposed to glorified karaoke singers and she gives a perfect example of what she is looking for when she growls in her best Janis Joplin voice ‘ons soek rock en roll.’ She is also well backed up by her band who know how to rock. As she claims in the song, she is indeed die raas in jou generaasie.

Where to find it:
Chasing The Sun – Karen Zoid, (2003, re-issued by Just Music, 2007), CDJUST171

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