Mongolia Monday, Contemporary Music, Part 2

Last time, I posted videos from two great solo artists, Ganaa (from the “boy band” Camerton) and Mareljingoo. This week it will be six videos that were really my introduction to the lively pop and alternative rock scene in Ulaanbaatar. I first saw most of them on tv when I was staying at the Narantuul Hotel (highly recommended). I’ve since been able to acquire CDs by all of them and can now listen to their albums whenever I want, which is often.

First up is The Lemons, who are considered an alternative band. Whatever the category, they are one of THE hot bands in UB and one of the most original. I hear this song as background music at least a couple of times a trip in restaurants and stores. It was apparently a big, big hit. The song is called Tsenkher Nud, which I think means “light blue eyes”. It makes me smile every time I listen to it.

And, for something completely different, “Sex Rock”:

Next is A Capella, one of the popular new groups. They are very strong on vocal harmony. There seems to be a thread, going back to Camerton (who was one of the first hit groups in the 1990s after the transition from socialism) of doing songs about rain or that have rain in part of the video. A Capella seems to have taken it to the next level in this video they made for a song called “Boroo” or “Rain”. Another feel-good song.

Then there’s this steamy little number “247”

Finally, there’s A Sound, also  very popular. Most of the groups I listen to do a wide range of styles. Even the hip hop groups sing lovely songs about mothers. It’s fun. Since there’s no big corporate music-making industry in Mongolia yet, the musicians can record quite a variety of styles in one album. I can’t think quite how to categorize A Sound. Kinda pop. Kinda alternative. But with a clear jazz influence at times. Very original. And the lead singer records some songs in quite good English.

First is “Shal Demii”. I don’t know what that is in English. One of the commenters on the YouTube video described this song as “Mongolian Bossa Nova”. Now that’s a concept.

And, finally, here is “30 Jil Hamt Baisan”, which I was told means “30 Years Together”. Country rock Mongol-style, anyone?


Next time, what seems to be one of the most beloved groups in Mongolia, Nomin Talst and…..?

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