Ethiopiques: A Word I Fell in Love With But Hadn’t Heard Until This Week

Okay, that’s a lot of title. 

So, I’ve been trying to be more open to things lately. 

Previously, a new situation would present itself and I would immediately defer to my brain, which had thousands of reasons why we shouldn’t do something, 

Now, looking back, most of the time these reasons were nothing but pure nonsense. 

Well, not nonsense, but holdovers from previous relationships, growing up, toxic workplaces and friendships that were just plain bad for me. These holdovers once had a purpose. 

To protect me. From hurting people I cared about. From ‘being exposed as a fraud’. From ‘doing something wrong’. But mostly from getting hurt myself. 

I’ve stopped listening to my brain as much lately. Or rather, I understand better when to trust it. 

This is a long ass way of telling you that the other day Spotify recommended something to me that I had no idea what it even was: “Ethiopiques Volume 21: Piano Solos.”

Ehtiopiques Series Album Covers

Previously my brain would rifle through the card catalogue in my brain until I find the one that says something like “listening to new music” and would scroll through those feelings. Most of the ones that made it onto that card were related to growing up (I was very VERY limited in what I was allowed to listen to. Most of the stuff I was really into I had to hide from my mom.) or my marriage where I got made fun or belittled for a lot of the media I liked. 

So my brain gave me danger vibes. 


And I almost listened to the danger vibes and skipped the music. Even though there was no one there to judge me if the music was not good. The shit is THAT ingrained in me. 

I skipped the danger vibes and instead just vibed.

Below is my introduction to Ethiopiques. Hit play if you want a soundtrack for the rest of this blog. 

I hit play and fell in love immediately and then kept falling in love as the rest of the album played. 

Before I was halfway done with it, I had send the link to my friend Stevie. 

She replied almost immediately with excitement! She loved the Ethiopiques series! She even had a favorite one. I added to “next up” on my list.

Well, despite the above album being designated “Volume 21” I didn’t even consider that there were more than one of these. 

Knowing there were, however, I decided to start listening to as many as I could. I’ve been listening to about one a day since discovering it. 

Here is some info about the series from their very own bandcamp

“Ethiopiques Series has been celebrating vintage Ethiopian music since 1997, spanning over 30 volumes on CD and several vinyl releases.”

They are mostly focused on the 60s & 70s from what I can tell. 

Not one of ’em has let me down yet and I never know what I’m in for. 

Some days I’ll be in a sweet romantic drama with gentle ups and downs, but then the next day I’ll find myself smack in the middle of a very tense heist, followed by a comedic beach party. 

What I’m saying is… there’s a lot of variety. And it’s all glorious. 

So give ’em a listen if you think that this is something that might be up your alley!

Please tell me your favorite Ethiopique if you should secretly have one, too! <3


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