Self titled debut from the stunning singer-songwriter Azniv Korkejian - aka Bedouine - a gallicized riff on bedouin, the nomad, the wanderer.
Anyone can assume such a name, but Azniv Korkejian has an experience of what it means, the type of ground it covers. Her development was shaped by political landscapes and family opportunities, her adult life patterned by paths of her own. Born in Aleppo, Syria to Armenian parents, Korkejian spent her childhood in Saudi Arabia, moving to America when her family won a Green Card lottery. They settled in Boston, then Houston, but she split for L.A. as soon as she could. A casual offer to stay on a horse farm took her to the rolling hills of Lexington, Kentucky, followed by a year in Austin, and a trip east to Savannah for a degree in sound design. Returning to L.A., she discovered a close-knit community of musicians in Echo Park that started to feel like home.
Azniv’s soulful debut showcases the depth of her songwriting and uses Spacebomb Records retro sound to create an exquisite, subtle, and wide-eyed collection of songs.
The sound of the record is exquisite, breezing through about 40 minutes with an effortless charm. “I will try my best/To keep my head nice and quiet/For you,” Korkejian sings sweetly in the opening track, a subtly powerful song about our instinct to maintain an air of perfection in relationships. The moments on Bedouine that break through that pleasant veneer are welcome, whether in the stark realism of “Summer Cold” or the moody imagery of “Back to You.” Over creeping “Hissing of Summer Lawns” jazz-pop, Korkejian places herself as an outsider in the city, where people “talk in exclamation marks” and lead “lives so designed.” Her skepticism reflects a self-awareness that pairs nicely with the wide-eyed wonderment in her music.