Bedouine, “Bedouine” (Spacebomb Records)
Bedouine is Azniv Korkejian’s alias and the title of her debut. It’s a hushed, haunted, delicate wonder — a collection evoking 1970s singer-songwriters which pairs her thoughtful words with unfussy arrangements.
Born to an Armenian family in Aleppo, Syria, Korkejian grew up in Saudi Arabia before her family won the green card lottery and moved to the U.S. She was practically nomadic for a while (like the Bedouin tribes of the Middle East) but is now based in Los Angeles.
Opener “Nice and Quiet” is truth in advertising for the rest of the album. If that sounds like it might get boring, don’t worry, there’s always something going on to caress your ears and merit your attention.
Gracefully produced by Gus Seyffert, “Bedouine,” at times, is reminiscent of Leonard Cohen, Laura Marling and Bill Withers. Sometimes it’s the lyrics, in other places it’s Korkejian’s unaffected, sometimes nearly-spoken delivery and also because the songs are usually built upon her acoustic guitar.
Withers comes to mind, too, because, like Korkejian, he was also in his thirties by the time he made his first album. While Withers worked at an airplane factory, Bedouine is a professional sound designer, editing dialogue and music in Hollywood, which may account for the some of the precision and spatial spread of the soundscapes.
Highlights include the sweeping romanticism of “Dusty Eyes,” the confident vulnerability of “Solitary Daughter,” the gentle bossa nova harmonies on “Back to You” and shades of English folk on “Heart Take Flight.”
In “Bedouine,” Korkejian has crafted a winner and she repays the immigrant lottery in spades.
British rapper Dizzee Rascal is going all the way in on rap on his new CD.
The singer’s best-selling tracks to date have been dance-based collaborations, including “Dance wiv Me” (featuring Calvin Harris), “Bonkers” (featuring Armand Van Helden) and “Holiday” (featuring Chrome), all taken from his 2008 album, “Tongue n’ Cheek,” but Rascal says his new album, “Raskit,” is 100 percent rap.
Talking backstage at Glastonbury Festival, the London-born rapper explained that, after starting out at the forefront of the UK grime scene and then making an impact in pop, he has now come full-cycle and hopes to touch people on all sides of his fan base.
Dizzee Rascal says he was inspired by Jay Z’s music.
“I was basically just trying to make something that could stand up to all the rap albums I grew up listening to,” he says.
“Raskit,” the rapper’s first album in four years since “The Fifth” in 2013, has taken over two years to produce.
“I spent so long on this one, so much has happened in between,” said the rapper. “I almost feel like new again because every time I have come out over 15 years, the game has changed a little bit.”
Much of “Raskit” was recorded in the US, but the rapper made sure he embraced his British culture, including British slang in his lyrics to appeal to his UK fans.
“Even though some of these beats might sound American-friendly, the whole package is still clearly not geared for them. It’s still geared for home first, so that made me happy.”
“Raskit” is scheduled for release in the UK on July 21. Dizzee Rascal will be touring in October.
Mere days after debuting a new song with Queen, Adam Lambert’s “Two Fux” has an official release date — June 30. And for fans of The “American Idol” season eight runner-up, Friday couldn’t come soon enough.
Lambert’s last recording for Warner Bros. Records was the 2015 album “The Original High,” which yielded the radio hit, “Ghost Town.” A dance-heavy collection recorded mostly in the dead of winter in Sweden, the music had a darkness about it, both lyrically and sonically, which Lambert credited to feeling vulnerable — and likely cold — at the time it was written (Max Martin and Shellback served as executive producers).
For “Two Fux,” the singer comes back around to his sweet spot — vocal falsettos and mid-tempo pop hooks — with the confidence of someone who seems, musically, at least, finally content with his life. Or at least that what the line “Namaste right here” suggests.
It’s a pride song, appropriately released during Gay Pride month, in which the lyrics confess: “No one gets me but myself / I’ve been this way since I was 12.” They also deadpan: “People think that I’m from Mars / Whatever,” Lambert sings. “Got that magic called ADD / Rep for them aliens / Different like me,” he later snaps as part of the overall theme of not giving “two fux.” (RTRS)
Rory Feek, one half of the Grammy-winning country duo Joey + Rory, announced on Tuesday he will perform publicly for the first time since his wife Joey died last year to raise funds for the Music Health Alliance, a nonprofit that helped his family with insurance and medical bills.
The Academy of Country Music-winning duo stopped performing when Joey’s cancer returned in 2015, although the couple recorded a gospel album in between her chemotherapy treatments. The album, “Hymns,” won best gospel roots album this year at the Grammys. Joey died on March 4, 2016, at the age of 40.
Feek said during a press conference for the Music Health Alliance that he had been thinking about performing again to celebrate his wife’s birthday in September. The two started their careers separately with Rory Feek pursuing songwriting and Joey Feek trying to make it as a singer, but gained popularity as a duo competing on the Country Music Television singing competition “Can You Duet?” in 2008.
He’ll perform at a barn at his home in rural Pottsville, Tennessee on Sept. 8 and 9, where the two used to perform together. The couple gained national attention through Rory Feek’s blog as he documented their faith and the strength of his wife as they decided to stop her treatment. (Agencies)
“I should get onstage and see what’s there,” Feek said. “What’s in store? What would I say if I were up there by myself? For me it will be good because I will learn why I am supposed to be there and what the future holds.”
Music Health Alliance is asking the music community to donate 5 percent of their earnings for one day to help assist others with medical needs and the city declared Oct. 20 as Heal the Music Day. The nonprofit, based in Nashville, helps those employed in the music industry find doctors, sign up for health insurance and navigate policies. The nonprofit estimates that more than 75 percent of the 56,000 people in Nashville are self-employed or do not have access to group health insurance. (Agencies)
By Pabio Gorondi