Music

The Multicultural Bubble of Bollywood’s Qawwalis

August 14, 2020

Since the 1940s, the beginning of the Golden Age of Hindi cinema, the Sufi song form of qawwali has been a prominent feature in Bollywood film. Due to the rich sociocultural and religious history of qawwali in the subcontinent, it is easy, even for South Asians, to picture the qawwali as a solely Islamic sacred … Read More

Rafi’s “Dumbfound” Brings Summer Back

August 11, 2020

We’re missing songs of the summer. And, for many of us still in lockdown, we’re missing the summer entirely. Rafi’s new single “Dumbfound” gives us back some of what we’ve lost this year in ease and carefree spirit. With his friends on the beach, and shot simply by Bledar Fida and Thalia Perez and edited … Read More

Qais Essar Sees Optimism in Alignment on “Syzygy”

August 7, 2020

A syzygy occurs when three planetary or celestial bodies are in alignment — when the sun, earth, and moon are in a straight-line configuration. Qais Essar and Alam Khan’s latest single, “Syzygy,” brings their traditional rabbab and sarod instruments into a new kind of alignment. They wrote and recorded the song all in quarantine, from … Read More

Noel & Hazi’s Blue Hour Brings New Textures to Familiar Sounds

July 2, 2020

The 9-track R&B collaboration Blue Hour, a joint venture from Atlanta producer Hazi and Houston recording artist Noel, wouldn’t be possible if a mutual friend didn’t introduce the two musicians to each other. An instant familiarity with one another and compatible approach to music allowed Hazi and Noel the gravity required to make emotionally self-aware … Read More

To Be a Person Eating a Samosa in a Gallery

June 29, 2020

There is something about this time that feels interminable – the repetition of state violence, the close-quartering during a mass plague, the forced abrasion of our political climate, it all seems to extend forever. There is no expiration date because, in truth, it never had a start date.  One of the things I miss most … Read More

Kohinoorgasm’s “Exhausted” Gives Voice to Burnout

June 15, 2020

Kohinoorgasm’s newest single, “Exhausted,” dropped this month. The single is the artist’s latest exploration of themes common in her work, questioning how to navigate a world shaped by burnout-inducing capitalism. Using experimental production and her hypnotic vocals, she asks poignantly: “How can I free my mind / when I don’t own it?” The release is … Read More

Longing for Proximity with Raveena’s Moonstone EP

May 26, 2020

Longing for closeness meant something very different in February, when Raveena’s Moonstone EP was first released. Now, Raveena’s signature sensual sound elicits something familiar during a time when everything else is incomprehensible. Attempts to make actual sense of what’s happening in the world feel misguided. Universalization feels dangerous when, despite the pandemic affecting everyone, those … Read More

Falak Fahim Soundtracks an Unrequited Crush on Pick Your Cheesecake, Tisha EP

May 7, 2020

Listening through Falak Fahim’s discography, it’s clear just how musical his sound has become. His new EP, Pick Your Cheesecake, Tisha, hit streaming last month via 617banks, the Dallas, Texas collective home to Fahim and his co-conspirators. Baritone singer Zuberi makes a guest appearance on all three tracks, while witty rapper Hassan contributes a verse … Read More

Curtis Waters Grapples with Growing Pains on “Pity Party”

April 30, 2020

Curtis Waters’s sophomore album Pity Party will get you just as in your feelings, as the title suggests. On the record, Waters flips between addressing his own emotional growing pains directly and taking on a persona of cold detachment. The result is a journey through palpable and familiar angst, a story of someone vaguely hoping … Read More

The Soul’s New Album Enry Pete Balances Discord with Harmony

April 24, 2020

“I want to come to a place like this every day and stay in peace,” one band member says, water rushing by. Another responds, “Why not…why can’t you machan?” This is just a brief moment in The Soul’s 2019 film Where We’re From. The video showcases the Sri Lankan band exploring the nature of the … Read More

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