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Ami Saraiya

One can never decide if Ami Saraiya’s songs are sad or not. If so, it’s a living sadness, vibrant, flushed with heart-stuff, anger and hopefulness. Archaeologist is a remarkable document of submerged memories of events forgotten, of country lullabies, furiousness and remorse. As with Saraiya's other work, there has always been the voice- a beautiful instrument of power, soul and infinite sadness. It's hard to tie her to to one genre of music. For her debut as a solo artist, Saraiya shows new depth with dark gypsy waltzes, accordion chamber-ish pop (with string arrangements by Mark Mess ...read more

One can never decide if Ami Saraiya’s songs are sad or not. If so, it’s a living sadness, vibrant, flushed with heart-stuff, anger and hopefulness. Archaeologist is a remarkable document of submerged memories of events forgotten, of country lullabies, furiousness and remorse. As with Saraiya's other work, there has always been the voice- a beautiful instrument of power, soul and infinite sadness. It's hard to tie her to to one genre of music. For her debut as a solo artist, Saraiya shows new depth with dark gypsy waltzes, accordion chamber-ish pop (with string arrangements by Mark Messing of Mucca Pazza), and a touch of Bollywood cheekiness. Archaeologist is Saraiya taking those seemingly disparate elements and forging a new style that is entirely her own.

Ami was born in Chicago, IL to parents emigrated from India. Trained as a pianist since age 6, she went on to be a music major at Indiana University in 1991 studying piano and voice. With a few guitar lessons in hand, she soon dropped the classical world for the less rigid world of rock, fronting her first indy pop/rock band, Apeksha. She moved to Chicago and over the next decade joined a series of bands as lead vocalist including the R&B band Pelvic Delta releasing 2 albums on Novo Arts label playing all the top venues in town including Metro, Double Door, Note, Empty Bottle, and touring regionally.

In early 2001, Ami decided to leave the band to experiment with her own songs and expand her sound. She began working on her solo release in 2003 and partnered with guitarist/programmer Scott Blackburn and a stellar cast of musicians creating the innovative American pop band Radiant Darling (named after the latent wood-burning stove at the Heartland Cafe). They released the album “Cryptomnesia” on the local Chicago label, Tense Forms. Together Scott and Ami let their imaginations run the gamut writing about truths disguised as magical realism: stories of public elephant hangings, ghost myths, and half heard stories Cryptomnesia received instant critical acclaim, “Saraiya's enigmatic and hard to pin down sound is alternately sultry, alluring and heartbreakingly sad throughout this impressive album” Jim DeRogatis, Chicago Sun-Times.

Saraiya split with Radiant Darling and went solo in 2006. Picking up the accordion and continuing on the quirky rampage, Ami partnered with composer/arranger Mark Messing who produced more than half of her self-released debut album “Archaeologist” in late 2009 with guest appearances and production by members of Califone, Judson Claiborne, Black Bear Combo and Mucca Pazza. Ami performs live with herslef on accordion/guitar and a full band including Ben Gray on drums, Marc Piane on upright bass, Ronnie Kuller/Liz Johnson on violin, Kevin Smith on mandolin/vocals, and Shirley Caen on vocals. « hide

Similar Bands: Feist, Bjork, Billie Holiay, Tom Waits

Archaeologist
2010

5
1 Votes

Contributors: Ponton, curlyamos, Willie,

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