TODAY Brooklyn duo Azar Swan unveils the powerful new video for their debut track “Amrika” over at Noisey. Directed by the very talented multi-media artist Jason Akira Somma, who often contributes to Azar Swan’s breathtaking live visuals, the video showcases his trademark hazy holographic style.
The narrative follows singer Zorah Atash’s niece home alone in an apartment, rummaging through records and toying around on instruments. The track and video are somewhat autobiographical for Atash, who spent her younger years in South Carolina as the first American-born child of her Afghan immigrant family. It reflects the experience of growing up as an outsider in America, escaping into music and MTV.
Formerly the core members of Religious To Damn, Zohra Atash and Joshua Strawn changed gears early this year, turning their multi-member, organic chamber ensemble into a drum machine minded, electro-centric duo. The shift was sparked by a two-fold realization from Atash and Strawn who were looking to consolidate the project, with coordinating multiple musicians often slowing the writing and performing process, combined with a mutual revived interest in electronic music and hip-hop beats pulling influences from acts like The-Dream and These New Puritans.
The self-recorded new tracks put strong emphasis on rhythm and percussion and have a tendency to meld a multitude of disparate influences. In a twist of poetic irony, much of the collection was tracked on the 33rd floor of a Tribeca apartment building facing site of Ground Zero / Freedom Tower, a strange tilt to the mood of the recording process. The new tracks are set to be part of a debut record slated for release later this spring.
For those in the New York area, Azar Swan will play the new incarnation of the weekly Wierd party, now called Nothing Changes on March 27th at Home Sweet Home
“Founding members Zohra Atash and Joshua Strawn have stepped out of the shadows once more with ‘Lusty’, a pulsating three minute slog through swells of frighteningly resonant percussion and ominous bass rumbles.” – The Line of Best Fit
“The dark, Kate-Bush-meets-Fever-Ray track “Lusty” is an exploration of the darkness that came with their previous band’s breakup, mixed with underdog-style optimism.” – Under The Radar
“…embracing sounds from any number of sources and combining them into thoroughly idiosyncratic pop songs that are both fascinating and hellaciously catchy.” – Flavorwire
“After re-envisioning the project and changing their name, the duo have shed their more rock oriented roots for an equally dark, jungle-oriented music sound. The vocals from Atash are every bit as wonderful as they were before… Zohra sings with a sense of bewilderment mixed with excitement of her experience as an immigrant in America” – Decoder Mag
“Brooklyn duo Azar Swan have emerged onto the blogosphere with their unique brand of dark, industrial pop music. Reminiscent of the dark pop sentiment of Bat for Lashes and the skewed electronica of The Knife” – The 405
“It’s a totally heady and brilliantly catchy Gothic world music tune about singer Zohra Atash’s immigrant experience in America, sung with almost childlike wonder.” – USA Today