Part 2. Indie Pakistan

In May, Spotify released a fantastic introductory playlist to all things Indie India to honour Asian Heritage Month! We wrote an article about it, talking about some of the coolest songs on that list, that you can find right here. As July is right around the corner, Spotify just released a new playlist, this time collecting some of the snazziest indie songs hailing from Pakistan, so of course, we went through it, and have so many great picks for you to listen to for the perfect introduction to indie Pakistani music on the go! So, without further ado, here are the Tawoos picks for some fantastic music you *must* check out, in case this 51 track playlist seems a bit daunting!

You can check out the whole playlist here!

Baatein - Ali Suhail

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Image via. Ali Suhail

Ali Suhail hails from Karachi, and is a multi-talented singer/songwriter, guitarist, ukulele player, mandolin player and producer. He lists his influences as being The Beatles, The Foo Fighters, Death Cab For Cutie, Freelance Whales and Pomplamoose to name a few. Baatein was the biggest track from his debut solo album, Words from Boxes, which tackles a lot of social issues, from societal norms, mental health and class. With beautiful layers and complex textures to his music, it’s the perfect sound for any genre, imbued with undercurrents of restlessness and conversation. His latest album, Pursuit of Irrelevance came out in March, 2017, and can be found in all the places, but also here for purchase!

Dil Jalay - Malang Party

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Image via Malang Party

Dil Jalay takes a leap to the other side of the genre spectrum. Malang Party’s funky indie-rock hit is featured on this playlist through their Coke Studio feature, but you can also check out the original right here. Based in Islamabad, Malang Party explore a Balochi sound with Malang Party, mixing folk and funk vibes with impressive guitar solos. They say they represent malangs, people who are completely lost, and are often considered to be outcastes in society, and their humour and politically charged lyrics have a profound impact on audiences. You can check out the rest of their music here!

Star Eyes - Dalt Wisney

Dalt Wisney’s (Sheryar Hyatt) career started off after he graduated the Red Bull Academy, producing forward thinking, eclectic electronic tracks. His debut EP Star Eyes turns Hyatt’s sounds into more focused boundaries, paying attention to soundscapes that serve a concrete purpose. Star Eyes as a whole finds itself merged well, with its sonic structure tightly wound and entwined. As The Border Movement puts it- “Star Eyes is an appreciation of electronic music as more than just beats and revisits instead its foundations as ‘music’ more vibrant and eclectic than what contemporary rock or pop could offer. Even though Hyatt’s worked within some semblance of parameters on this release, he’s still built up a sonic palette that’s incredibly unique — and one that at its strongest merges a cacophony of ideas and sounds with a sub-structure that’s as riveting as it is hypnotic.”

Zardarazir - Poor Rich Boy

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Image Credit: Poor Rich Boy

Poor Rich Boy, Pakistan’s underground indie-art rock phenomenon, conjures the strangeness of everyday life in a society where expressing one’s inner world can be both a cathartic and subtly rebellious act. Enigmatic and layered, the band’s striking vocals, atmospheric sounds, and the occasional kazoo create a crystalline sound that suggests, but rarely reveals. With songs like Alice, Fairweather Friend and Zardarazir in this playlist, they showcase a witty and often dark side to society. Perfect for that rainy night, or even melancholy morning, PRB’s sound leaves an achey feeling in the pit of one’s stomach, creating nostalgia for those specific moments in one’s life when silence and chaos reign.

The Desert Journey - The D/A Method

TW: Violence and Explicit Content

The D/A Method’s Desert Journey is both a visually and auditory treat, which is why we just *had* to include the music video for this crazy song in this list. The D/A Method is a Karachi based progressive rock band. They’ve recently released its second full-length album, The Desert Road, co-produced and mixed by Bruce Soord, who injects his expertise into The D/A Method’s unique sound. With its members having spent significant portions of their lives in both Pakistan and the West, the band combines influences from classic rock, grunge, and metal with a touch of traditional Pakistani flavour to create their unique, progressive sound.Check out their incredibly vibrant, and unique video, as well as their latest album.

So there you have it! Some of our picks to ease you in, and a whole host more awaits you in the Spotify playlist! Happy Listening!


If you like what you’ve read, and love the music the way we do- we have a lot of exciting things in the pipeline. For more details about shows and other activities, stay tuned and follow us on Instagram and on Facebook for more updates!

Tawoos Stories is looking for contributors familiar with the South Asian music scene.Have something to share? Write to us at haris.javed@tawoosinitiative.org