Arabic rock is not something Americans get to hear often, but Mashrou’ Leila is a Lebanese rock band quite popular in the Arab world. The five member alternative rock band is known for controversial lyrics and satirical themes.

Their music video for “3 minutes” (includes translation) is an eerie ode full of identity questions. Lyrics include “The difference between freedom and submission is agency.” It also questions the power of control over oneself; “half the things I feel, I imagined altogether”. My favorite line is “Humor me for a 3 minute pop song,” which summarizes the message of the song — a brief and catchy look at something rather complex: one’s identity.

The group first stole hearts five years ago with “Fasateen”, a mildly confusing but charming song. It begins as an acoustic, then a violin and light drums are added as the voice muses about long ago, when the couple at hand had planned to marry. The full lyrics can be found here.

Their latest video posted on their channel is a lyric video for “13”. This song makes use of strings again to exaggerate the emotions in the singer’s voice.

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