|Bedouine — Bedouine [Deluxe Edition] (2017)
Bedouine — Bedouine [Deluxe Edition] (June 23, 2017)
→ ¶ Bedouin zní jako horké letní odpoledne, kde se nic nepohybuje..., v jakémsi malátně~ospalém klimbání, ale kapky kondenzace se sklouznou po vysoké sklenici něčeho ledového. Hlas Azniv Korkejian je v důvěrném objetí šelestů, zpívá v tichých tónech, doprovázených jednoduchými kytarovými nebo klavírními aranžemi, které jsou doplněny o elegantní orchestrace, občas steelku a přitlumené rohy. Je to neobyčejně jemná sbírka s klasickou citlivostí, evokující zpěvačky z 60. a 70. let. Samotné téma textů Azniv Korkejian, aniž by bylo možné tvrdit z první ruky, se zabývá probíhajícím ničením v rodné Sýrii, zejména v Aleppu. Například “Summer Cold”, píseň psaná se silným vnitřním pocitem nebo předtuchou budoucího neštěstí, s hvězdnou noir~ish kytarou, byla “reakcí na to, že se zbraně poskytované Amerikou dostaly do rukou teroristů”. / Bedouine sounds like a hot summer afternoon, where nothing moves in the drowsy stillness but the beads of condensation sliding down a tall glass of something iced. Azniv Korkejian’s voice is a confiding murmur, and she sings in languorous tones accompanied by simple guitar or piano arrangements augmented by elegant strings and muted horns. It’s an uncommonly subtle collection, with a classic sensibility that evokes singer~songwriters of the 1960s and ‘70s. Writing topically without being heavy~handed, Korkejian addresses the ongoing destruction in her native Syria, especially in Aleppo. For example, “Summer Cold,” a foreboding tune with stabs of noir~ish guitar, was “a reaction to learning that weapons provided by America were finding their way into the hands of terrorists.” — Eric R. Danton
Location: Aleppo, Syria ~ Los Angeles, California
Genre: folk~rock, indie~folk, singer~songwriter
Album release: June 23, 2017
Record Label: Spacebomb Records
01. Nice and Quiet 3:51
02. One of These Days 2:58
03. Back to You 4:27
04. Dusty Eyes 4:37
05. Solitary Daughter 4:20
06. Summer Cold 2:48
07. Mind’s Eye 3:14
08. You Kill Me 4:13
09. Heart Take Flight 3:45
10. Skyline 2:29
11. Louise 3:11
12. Deep Space 2:39
By Hannah Fleming | December 1, 2017 | 12:46pm
Photos by Polly Antonia Barrowman
•♣• Paste scribe Eric R. Danton writes that Bedouine’s music sounds like “a hot summer afternoon where nothing moves in the drowsy stillness but the beads of condensation sliding down a tall glass of something iced,” and that is the most perfect description to date: What Bedouine, aka Azniv Korkejian, is capable of, with haunting guitar/piano arrangements, horns, strings and her murmuring voice, smoothly surpasses songwriters that share her ‘60s/‘70s vibes. Her self~titled debut on Spacebomb Records made our list of the 50 best albums of 2017 with a gusting force — her music contains mobility and air, from a life spent in transit from Syria to Saudi Arabia to America. She’s now shared two songs from the deluxe version of that album, “Louise” and “Deep Space.”
•♣• “‘Louise’ is a song about conviction,” Korkejian says in a statement. “The impetus was pondering the difficult decision a family makes during wartime, to stay or to leave and seek refuge. I caught myself being a critic of people that were risking their lives to stay home but the more I thought about it the more I sympathized and even wondered if I would make a similar decision.”
•♣• Bedouine (which, by the way, is a take on the word “bedouin,” the wanderer) wrote “Deep Space” while speaking with a fellow airline passenger who worked in satellite maintenance for deep space. “I used ‘Deep Space’ as an analogy for when you push yourself past the limits of your comfort knowing well it could be as rewarding as it is frightening,” she says. «» https://www.pastemagazine.com/ / Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=6p-OFHW5WGA
By Andrew Sacher, June 23, 2017 11:39 AM
•♣• Azniv Korkejian is literally a world~traveling musician. The singer~songwriter was born in Syria, moved to Saudi Arabia as a child, and later moved to America, where she lived in Boston and Houston before settling in LA.
•♣• She studied sound design and has done quite a bit of work in Southern California in the arena of dialogue editing. A quick IMDB search reveals that she has dialogue edited for shows like “Preachers’ Daughters” and “Ultimate Soldier Challenge.”
•♣• For her self~titled debut album as Bedouine, she’s joined by a very impressive cast. The album was produced by Gus Seyffert and features guitarist Smokey Hormel (who are both known for working with Beck and Norah Jones), it was mixed by Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Devendra Banhart),
and Matthew E White is releasing it on his Spacebomb label. It’s got gorgeous string arrangements by Spacebomb’s co~owner and in~house arranger Trey Pollard, who also lent his talents to Matthew, Natalie Prass, Foxygen, and more. As you may expect from a team like that, the album hearkens back to ‘60s and ‘70s songwriting, and has a real smooth, calm feel to it.
•♣• Though she’s lived everywhere, it’s appropriate that she ended up in LA, a breeding ground for a lot of music like this in the ‘60s (The Byrds, Linda Ronstadt, John Phillips, Tim Buckley, etc). If you like that stuff, you’ll probably find that Azniv does a lot of justice to that sound. Early highlight One of These Days is so instantly familiar and instantly pleasing, that you’ll be checking to make sure it’s not a cover from that era. (It’s not.) Solitary Daughter has a spoken word/poetry feel to it, like Leonard Cohen or the trippier side of Paul Simon. “Summer Cold” embraces dark, queasy melodies, almost sounding like a psych~folk singer covering Billie Holiday. Songs like that prove that Bedouine is anything but a one~trick pony.
by Sam Sodomsky, JULY 25 2017 / Score: 7.5
♣•♣ The soulful debut from Syrian~born Azniv Korkejian showcases the depth of her songwriting and uses Spacebomb’s retro sound to create an exquisite, subtle, and wide~eyed collection of songs.
♣•♣ Halfway through Azniv Korkejian’s gorgeous debut album as Bedouine comes an abrupt shift in tone. While the rest of the record dazzles with sweetness — “like a lamp in the light of day/Drowning in summer rays,” as she puts it — the centerpiece is a haunting protest song. Born in Aleppo, Syria before moving to Saudi Arabia and eventually landing in Los Angeles, Korkejian wrote “Summer Cold” in a moment of despair. The lyrics reflect her reaction to news that American~made weapons had fallen into the hands of Syrian terrorists. “I don’t want anything/Ever to do with them,” she sings, using her wise, fluttering voice to convey a sense of anxious fear. The song resolves with a cycle of found~sound samples she recorded at her grandmother’s home, making its previous verses feel at once more vivid and more distant, the way a nightmare lingers after you wake up.
♣•♣ “Summer Cold” is an outlier on Bedouine — an album more successful at sustaining a mood than reacting to any moment in time — but it’s indicative of the depth in Korkejian’s songwriting. Recorded for the Richmond, Virginia label Spacebomb, Bedouine is backed by full horn and string sections, lending it a similar fairy~tale whimsy to Natalie Prass’ self~titled debut. Still, Korkejian’s songs retain their natural intimacy, with arrangements that, at their most ornate, feel like impromptu daydreams in the minds of their narrators. In the swooning “Dusty Eyes,” she dreams of city lights and lost love as the music builds in intensity, as if to match her lovesick fantasies. In moments like these, Korkejian’s work as a music editor for films (most recently The Big Sick) becomes evident: Her songs gain resonance equally from her lyrics and the sheer sound of everything.
♣•♣ The sound of the record is exquisite, breezing through about 40 minutes with an effortless charm. “I will try my best/To keep my head nice and quiet/For you,” Korkejian sings sweetly in the opening track, a subtly powerful song about our instinct to maintain an air of perfection in relationships. The moments on Bedouine that break through that pleasant veneer are welcome, whether in the stark realism of “Summer Cold” or the moody imagery of “Back to You.” Over creeping Hissing of Summer Lawns jazz~pop, Korkejian places herself as an outsider in the city, where people “talk in exclamation marks” and lead “lives so designed.” Her skepticism reflects a self~awareness that pairs nicely with the wide~eyed wonderment in her music.
♣•♣ Korkejian strikes this balance with such delicacy that it’s sometimes hard to believe this is her first album. “Solitary Daughter” is a direct line to the conversational inflections of early Leonard Cohen. In its verses, she sharpens her vocal style into a rougher spoken~word delivery, stretching out her words and landing on each rhyme with metronomic precision. She takes a similar approach in “Heart Take Flight,” the album’s finest, subtlest track. As Korkejian gives her heart permission to soar away, the music remains decidedly earthbound. Her words are accompanied only by gentle fingerpicking and a lonely array of distant horns, letting each image bloom in your imagination. “Everything around me is/Exactly as it should be,” she sings, “I feel so free.” It’s a contagious feeling, one that Azniv Korkejian seems fully prepared and grateful to share with the world. •♣• https://pitchfork.com/
|Bedouine — Bedouine [Deluxe Edition] (2017)