Album Review: Bedouine – Bird Songs of a Killjoy

On her second album Syrian born, LA based songwriter Azniv Korkejian casts herself as Bedouine the bird and the killjoy. Her songs flutter and sigh with a serene summertime sadness. Her music continues to evoke the vintage sixties folk sound of her debut, with added lush orchestral swirls inspired by French movie soundtracks as much as Nick Drake.

Opening song Under The Night sets the tone of wistful longing that runs through the whole record. Sunshine Sometimes is about wanting a quiet night in with the one you love, while When You’re Gone suggests there is an imbalance in the relationship that inspires these songs, I love you / you love how much I love you. Such simple, heartbreaking truths quietly devastate. The orchestra also add a sweeping emotional echo to the song.

On her previous record she referred to herself as a ‘Solitary Daughter’ and loneliness is never far away this time either, especially on One More Time. Dizzy ends in a swirl of sounds, like someone spinning round and round until they float off into the sky.

Then there are a trio of songs Bird, Bird Gone Wild and Hummingbird which beautifully use the central metaphor of the record. On Matters of the Heart she reminds us there’s no make believe, life and love are shockingly real.

There’s a switch of tone on Echo Park, a loving and lightly mocking tribute to her local neighbourhood. Inspired by the consequences of gentrification, with a self deprecating sense of awareness that she herself is part of the problem, the song is endearingly sung. The video too is dreamy, with her taking us around the neighbourhood, filled with bookshops, parks, picnics, vintage cars, palm trees and cherry blossom. I wouldn’t have it any other way, she concludes about her home.

As the album draws to a close there is an orchestral reprise of When You’re Gone to remind us of the gentle beauty of the music.

Bird Songs of a Killjoy is a subtle evolution of Bedouine’s stylish and elegant folk sound. Best listened to on a hazy summer afternoon or when you want a perfect soundtrack to some sweet California dreaming.


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