2019 album also available on CD.
LA based singer-songwriter Azniv Korkejian aka. Bedouine is releasing her sophomore album ‘Bird Songs Of A Killjoy’ following on from her self titled 2017 release. When you listen to the love songs of Bedouine, you will be reminded of Karen Dalton’s world-wise voice or the breathy seduction of Minnie Riperton’s vocals, the easy cool of French ye-ye singers, and the poetry of Joan Baez. Her folk is nomadic, wandering across time and space, and on the likes of new song “Dizzy” meander into danceable jams.
On first discovery you may ask whether they’re dated to 2019, or whether you’ve uncovered some forgotten classic. It makes sense that singer-songwriter Azniv Korkejian’s arrival – both musically and personally – on her second record has been influenced by her own wanderlust, displacement, and curiosity. “It’s called Bird Songs of a Killjoy, and I’m the killjoy,” she says. Azniv is based in LA, but is often travelling for the sake of musical inspiration. Her album title is something she’s still trying to decipher. “I’m figuring it out,” she says.
The twelve songs on ‘Bird Songs of a Killjoy’ contain several references to birds, which initially panicked Azniv. “Oh no! What a cliché!” she recalls. Azniv is a scrupulous student of the greats, and often quotes from books by Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell. In Mitchell’s biography, the songwriter talks about how she’d circle clichés in lyrics with a bold red pen and replace them. “That made me so self-conscious about how I go on and on about birds on this record,” she says. “But I have to step back and take a breath. These songs are just where I landed, and that’s OK.” When it comes to the “killjoy” of the title, Azniv describes the common perception of herself as a curmudgeon and a depressive. “Dare I say – a difficult women,” she continues, laughing. “I’m taking ownership of that stereotype, proudly.”
The music itself is the farthest from curmudgeonly or depressive as could be. It’s a soundtrack to Spring blossom, to warm air on skin, to the concept of possibility. Amazingly, despite the successes since her debut release, ‘Bird Songs of a Killjoy’ rejects any pressures to be some kind of grand evolution from before. When her self-titled debut came out in the summer of 2017, Azniv was entirely unknown, and wasn’t necessarily looking to change that. The album she wrote in her free time while dealing with some emotional trauma and locking herself away in her house, was an exercise in diarizing, in expression without expectations. Some of the songs on this sophomore effort were from that same time period of fruitful creativity. She continued her creative partnership with Gus Seyffert (Beck, Norah Jones) who produced them in his studio.
Azniv’s experience of life is extraordinary. She was born in Aleppo, Syria, and swiftly moved to Saudi Arabia where she did most of her growing up until the age of ten. She went to an American school and lived in an ex pat community. “It was a crazy mish-mash,” she recalls. There was MTV in the house, so she knew about Nirvana. “But I was also just exposed to what my parents were putting on,” she says. Her dad was a singer but Azniv didn’t make the connection in familial passion there until she was much older. He’d play traditional Armenian and Arabic music at home. Her mother put her in piano lessons from the age of five and she hated it. “My music sounds so traditionally American and I’m not sure how that happened,” she offers, recalling that it wasn’t until her twenties that she discovered ’60s folk music and picked up a guitar.
And the rest is history as we are applauding this ladies talents and the music she shares.
“Just so beautifully human” The 405
“Strikingly beautifull… loose and reflective” UPROXX
“A gentle grandeur” Paste
“Blissful” The Evening Standard
“Floating somewhere between the calm of jazz and folk, the new song is just as lyrically striking as we’ve come to expect from Bedouine. It blossoms with strings that elevate her already heavenly sagacity in observing the ongoings around her. Her vocals, in both tone and enunciation, sound strikingly similar to Brazilian bossa nova singer Astrud Gilberto, only adding to this worldly sense of elegant consciousness that continues to shine through her music.” Stereogum