by Atari STAFF
February 7th, 2018 | 11 replies

Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Have I swam too far this time?

It’s not every day you hear an album with so many delicate orchestral touches. It’s what sets Syrian-born Azniv Korkejian apart from crowds of indie singer-songwriters. These aren’t just cute folk tunes with the strumming of a guitar; they’re fully realized, carefully conducted streams of consciousness. On “Solitary Daughter”, many of the lines are half-sung, half-spoken -- Leave me alone to the books and the radio snow, she confesses -- but not without flowery orchestration weaving around her every utterance. The colorful melodies throughout recall a simpler time, reminiscent of those oldschool, hand-drawn Disney movies. This makes sense given Korkejian’s work as a music editor for film, and with the added touch of some additional musicians, it’s perhaps the smoothest sounding album of 2017 I missed up until this point.

Yet, despite some bright strings and flutes that would feel right at home in the intro of a retro Disney classic, the scenery of Bedouine isn’t always roses and clear skies. Korkeijian has taken in the scenery through several corners of the world, not all of it pleasant. “Summer Cold” is deceptively tame; a furious protest song only held back by her gorgeous voice and sense of composure. Though it's not entirely abrasive, it has darker shades and tones than the rest of Bedouine, both lyrically and musically. Even so, quoting user Lucid here – “it’s just warm and cozy, and goes down like chamomile tea.” I’m personally left convinced she could write about pretty much anything -- death, war, you name it -- and it’s still going to sound beautiful.

Bedouine is an album that tells a story - each song a snippet of Korkejian’s experiences. “Dusty Eyes” is full of vibrant imagery from her life: the city, the city lights/the lampposts burn the night/but they don’t come close/to the way that I feel about you now. On the other hand, “Back to You” paints a colorful contrast between her culture and Los Angeles – with busy horns in the later half replicating her move to the big city. What’s perhaps so magnetic about Bedouine is you don’t feel like you’re on the outside looking in with this one, but rather, a vital part of the experience. From the beating heart of Saudi Arabia to the bustling night life of Los Angeles, this is likely as close as you’ll ever get to meeting Azniv Korkejian. What she’s crafted here is a breezy, personal portrait of her life through finely orchestrated folk tunes - and it's nothing short of a stunning debut.

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user ratings (12)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2018


Album Rating: 4.2

I am in love with this album. A late entry to my 2017 top 5 (thanks to the rec from Lucid!). Her knack for songwriting/composition is just insane, makes for one hell of a debut. The flowery yet subtle orchestration is just the icing on the cake

looks like you can stream on bandcamp. hope at least a couple of you enjoy it, 4 ratings is not enough for a thing of beauty like this

Digging: Brian Fallon - Sleepwalkers

February 7th 2018


Great review, I forgot how sharp your writing is. You communicate this record's appeal beautifully. Never fails to lift the spirit, hope a few people check it out.

February 7th 2018


You are back to Staff! Nice.

Sweet review man, will definitely check this one out.

Digging: Polica / s t a r g a z e - Music For The Long Emergency

Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2018


Album Rating: 4.2

Thx Lucid! I couldn’t stand this not having a review

And cheers Dewi, hope u enjoy it :]

February 7th 2018


Ooo dang this sounds like something I'll love, excites to give it a listen
Tremendous review my friend

Digging: Pianos Become the Teeth - Wait For Love

Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2018


Album Rating: 4.2

Cheers Freddie, I’m counting on you ;)

February 8th 2018


Album Rating: 3.5

Sounds straight out of 1970, in a good way

Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2018


This review is very impressive work, particularly the second paragraph and last few sentences. Will have to check this soon.

Digging: Tiny Little Houses - Idiot Proverbs

Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2018


Album Rating: 4.2

you're too kind, Blush. Is it better than my review for No Use For A Name? ;)

Hope you enjoy it! We seem to find common ground more often than not with this kinda music. It was nice enough on the first listen, but the more I heard it the more impressive all the little touches and orchestration became. It's not overdone at all, but there's a lot of subtle and lovely nuances throughout

@nukethewell, yeah it definitely has a retro vibe. glad you like it!

February 8th 2018


this record is so damn good ^_^

February 9th 2018


Album Rating: 4.0

so good

wish i heard it when it came out, it totally makes my top 5.

Digging: Kero Kero Bonito - TOTEP

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