That was quick! And also, who would ever thought that Arabic and Icelandic sounded this good together?
Right after their Palestinian banner waving at the Eurovision contest last week, Icelandic techno industrial punk-rockband Hatari, have released a song during their homecoming concert in Icelandwith a music video featuring Palestinian artist Bashar Murad.
The single is titled Klefi / Samed (صامد) and it’s a clever play on words with a double meaning.
In Icelandic, Klefi means a chamber or an echo chamber while Samed, which translates to steadfast or unmovable and relates to the spirit of perseverance the Palestinian people have displayed after years under occupation.
The melding of Icelandic and Arabic is a motif running through the song and even extends to the beats and sound of the song. The contrast between the slow melodic tune, with religious undertones by Bashar Murad and the punk rock vibe by Hatari is intense, dark and mesmerizing.
In short, it’s a banger of a tune. Listen to it – loud.
Once you see the video for the single, it becomes abundantly clear that Hatari made full use of their stay in Israel for the Eurovision contest where they staged their protest live on television.
The video was filmed in Palestine in April and depicts both Bashar Murad and Hatari dancing and singing on the desert hills near the city of Jericho.
The song and music video have many subtle and overt political and social undertones.
At the start of the video, Bashar is seen walking up a hill in the desert. He looks as though he’s struggling but continues to walk until he reaches the top. He’s dressed in all black with a scarf that has a long trail. In the distance behind him we see a herd of camels walking by the base of some hills.
Cut to Matthías Tryggvi Haraldsson, lead singer of Hatari, in a blackened room in a leather bondage styled outfit, reminiscent of Edward Scissor Hands. As he sings, the shot flashes back and forth very quickly back to Bashar in the desert. In some shots, Matthias is wearing a bandaged style mask that looks like a gas mask.
There is strong religious like imagery, from the accessories Bashar wears to shots of him rubbing sand between his fingers. There are clips of computer generated faces made of sand disintegrating into darkness or the desert landscape.
Toward the end of the video, Bashar pulls on the head scarf covering his hair, revealing it to be a Palestinian flag which he waves. Then Bashar and Hatari walk together as a trio through the desert toward the viewer. This is one of the only shots of all of them together and it’s interesting to note how bondage inspired clothing and traditional Arab thobes are similar and work well together.
The lyrics, melody of the song and the visuals of the music video have flawlessly managed to combine two very different languages, sounds and aesthetic ideas through one streamlined message and creating a very unique and frankly amazing sound and look.