Best Tracks of 2016
selected by Zahra Salahuddin

Forever South <BR>“Hot Cues”

Forever South
“Hot Cues”

I would like to start this list by mentioning an entire label here called Forever South. They have a handful of electronic producers on their roster and without a doubt they have been constantly working towards breaking into Pakistan’s vast music scene with electronic.

Instead of mentioning one producer or song from Forever South, I would like you all to introduce yourselves to Forever South’s banging list “Hot Cues” which consists of tracks released all throughout 2016 by all the producers. Check it out here.

Forever South on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter.


Sikandar Ka Mandar

The track “Shehri” is a release from Sikandar Ka Mandar’s upcoming album, “36”. Although the song was released at the very end of 2015, recently a group of film students got together to shoot a music video for it and it looks fantastic.

It seems that Sikandar Ka Mandarspent most of 2016 working on the new album and “Shehri” is a great teaser of sorts for what to expect their second full-length to be like and so far.

I know I’m excited to hear the rest.

Sikandar Ka Mandar on Facebook, Soundcloud, Bandcamp.


“Sab Acha hai”

By now, we can trust Shajie and always count on him for making us feel cute and tingly on the inside through his music.

His new track “Sab Acha hai”, which means “Everything is great”, is that perfect music-on-world-off track, telling you that everything is going to be okay and you will see that everything is great. Sigh.

Shajie on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter + Best of 2014.


Gentle Robot

Gentle Robot is currently working on an EP, but in 2016 he released a single called “Maladaptive” featuring another aspiring singer Natasha Noorani.

Not only is the song really well produced (by the band themselves), it has an excellent stop motion (clay-mation!) music video by Control Freak Productions to go with it.

Gentle Robot on Facebook, Soundcloud.


“Jhumra (funk you)”

Mohammad Fazli commonly known as Sibti by his friends has been part of Pakistan’s music scene for years, and was featured on a show called Uth Records years ago. His lyrics are pretty strange, but I guess that’s what makes it fun to listen. He’s also been nominated three times in Pakistan’s Lux Style Awards for his previous singles.

This time he put out an EP which is his first, called the “Book of Sibt“. Mekaal Hasan, who is a big-part producer in Pakistan produced this record, something not every underground musician gets to have in their list of pats-on-the-back.

If you’re a music snob, it’s not for you. If you appreciate music that sounds exactly like Classic Rock with little room for experimentation, give this a listen. This is still something unique coming out of Pakistan.

Sibti on Facebook, Soundcloud + beehype.


“Aye Na”

Rushk and Pakistan’s music scene go way back. But for years this band was dormant until recently when they started putting out new music with a different line up.

This jazzy new track called “Aye Na” has made me realize how necessary a band like Rushk is for our music scene, especially when it comes to live music. Hoping to God this time they stay. The lyrics of this track are a contributing factor to why 2016 was bearable for me, personally.

My favourite line in the song “apnay zakham ko meray paseenay say ponch lay tu” (which I will just ruin by translating to English), meaning “wipe your wounds with my sweat”.

Rushk on Facebook, Soundcloud.


Chand Tara Orchestra
“Khaak Nasheen”

7-minute trip by Chaand Tara Orchestra

“Khaak Nasheen” is the first single released online by Chaand Tara Orchestra, previous being a mindblowing cover. This song is a 7-minute trip to what-is-this-feeling land and one of the most under-rated songs of 2016.

It’s the perfect example of an out-of-this-world mental state with gorgeous classical vocals, poetry by one of Pakistan’s most beloved poets, and music that flows exquisitely. This is what has been missing from the frothy brew of Pakistani music and I sincerely hope this band sticks around.

Chand Tara Orchestra on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.


Poor Rich Boy

“Preacher” is the first release from Poor Rich Boy’s upcoming third album “Almost Tuesday”. This Lahore-based band has somewhat come a long way considering their shows in the US in the past and album releases.

Although the band was laying low, they had been working on new material and this song is a part of that. “Preacher” sounds like a classic Poor Rich Boy song: words that move you without you expecting to be moved by them.

And music that turns your heart into goo.

Poor Rich Boy on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, www.


“Mein Koun Hoon”

Mooroo has been contributing to the Pakistani music scene since years now. Songs like “Kahaani Purani” and “Tasveer” were greatly appreciated by thousands of listeners online. In 2016, he came out with his first album called “Pehli“.

The album has nine songs but this one in particular, “Mein Koun Hoon”, stands out in this collection of beautifully composed music. It’s like a breeze in the park on a sunny day when you’re lazing around wondering what’s going on as you escape the tunnel through which you’ve been seeing the world. In short, it’s pretty, check it out.

Mooroo on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, YouTube.


The D/A Method
“The Desert Road”

This is the first single from the D/A Method’s upcoming second album, “The Desert Road”. The song brings one of the best music videos to come out of Pakistan in 2016.

The D/A Method is a somewhat unique addition to the Pakistani music landscape, arguably the only band doing progressive rock in Pakistan with the depth and musical prowess the genre requires.

Click play and experience this audio-visual treat.

D/A Method on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter.