Album Review: Bedouine – Bedouine

Spacebomb is one of the most interesting record labels in American music today, with their in house band, symphonic arrangements and attention to detail. They have already produced brilliant albums by label founder Matthew E. White and Natalie Prass so I, for one, am automatically sold on any artist they are associated with. When Azniv Korkejian approached White with her songs, Spacebomb couldn’t resist working with the talented singer/songwriter. She took on the name Bedouine, meaning wanderer, and the resultant record has a sound and texture that is both unique and yet warmly familiar.

Nice and Quiet is a perfect beginning and well it sounds exactly that. Her voice has a feel of a vintage vinyl you find at the back of a charity shop – so innocent and smooth you think it has to come from another time. She breathes sometimes rather than sings, and when the layers of sound build slowly behind her, you know this is going to be a special piece of work.

One of These Days is a lovely little folk and country-inspired song. It feels so understated in a way, with the trademark laid back almost funk style of other Spacebomb releases. Back To You goes even further with an orchestral sound, and the brass section really shines. Dusty Eyes is the real breathtaker here. It burns slowly, but the crescendo of ‘the way that I feel about you now’ is really something beautiful to behold.

I find myself identifying with Solitary Daughter and its line, leave me alone to the books and the radio. Living life through reading and listening to music is how I grew up (who am I kidding, it’s still the way I live now). Finding comfort in solitude is hard for other people to understand sometimes, as this song so perfectly explains. You feel this song would have made a good title for the record, although there is a sense of mystery created by the unusual name left alone on the cover.

The second half of the album is perhaps not as strong as the first, but Mind’s Eye has a nice psychedelic sixties vibe to it and You Kill Me is a sweet little thing, despite its sinister title. Skyline finishes the album with an swirl of violins and brass. Here she is singing about the pain of the past but there is no misery in her voice, despite her recollections of a difficult relationship.

Bedouine has a subtle hazy sound that could easily wash over the listener but pay attention and you will find complex songs from a singer with a distinctive perspective on the world. After all it’s usually the nice and quiet ones who have the most interesting things to say.

 

 

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