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STANDOUT TRACK: No. 4, “Moving Gaza,” a dance-rock-influenced pop tune sung by 27-year-old twin sisters Emily and Susan Hsu about being broke, partying, and, duh, the Middle East.
The sisters don’t let being a “dollar short for the Metro ride” get in the way of having fun. In unison, they cry out that Ris Paul Ric’s “‘Purple Blaze’ is like my favorite song/When it plays, it gets me all night long” and wax political with “Two doves flying shimmy over Israel” and “Free is the word right out of Lebanon.”
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MUSICAL MOTIVATION: In what may be an industry first, the song was inspired by a think tank. “At the time we wrote the song,” says Emily, a research assistant at the United States Institute of Peace, “I was researching…the aftermath of U.S. withdrawal from the Israel–Lebanon conflict in 1982, so that’s where the Middle East focus came from.”
A second theme developed as the sisters ruminated upon their post-college careers (they graduated from Georgetown University this year). The lyrics about being destitute, says Susan, relate to “dealing with all the piss and shit that comes with being a full-time artist or musician.”
DANCE THE BLIGHT AWAY: With such serious topics put to an up-tempo dance beat, the song has caused listener confusion. “Everybody’s just kinda like, ‘What do the melodies have to do with you being poor?’” says Emily. The relationship is that going out and dancing “can help you forget about all the bad things in life,” like “violence, hatred, genocide—you name it.”
“Sometimes you just wanna play music,” Susan adds, “and not think too much.”—Kim Rinehimer