It’s hard to believe Azniv Korkejian’s latest release is also her first. The young artist uses her debut album to pack in a breathtaking amount of perspective and wide-eyed wonderment. Love, wanderlust and solitude dominate this retrofitted folk album, and after hearing Korkejian’s debut work, it’s easy to understand why she chose to name her album and musical project Bedouine.
Korkejian is in fact, a nomadic songwriter, taking on the world with an untethered feminine psyche. In her travels and music, she seems to have found experience, safety and purpose.
Although she’s now taken up roots in the ecclectic music community of Echo Park (minutes from downtown Los Angeles), her music remains borderless, free to wander, to explore, and even to divulge little tidbits of wisdom.
Our introduction to her music starts off quiet, nice and quiet. Her opening track greets us with soft spoken and shy lyrics brimming with an understated confidence. “Nice and Quiet” moves us past the surface of white noise and ushers us into a consciousness that is undisturbed and serene.
Her follow up track, “One of These Days,” oozes with all the potential of a breakthrough single. It’s a little faster, a little more direct, and highlights Bedouine’s propensity to craft clever prose.
“If I’m talking sweet to you, you know I’d like to hear it too. It’s funny honey, to think it’s a passing phase.”
In “Back to You,” she gives us a peak into her nomadic past. It’s an objective, yet personal account of odd cultural or colloquial factions that shift from one place to another.
The album is filled with these bittersweet moments. From honey in her tea to “dusty eyes” that captivate her, there is a sentimentality in her work that reveals both inexperience and maturity; a prevalent duality that discloses a separation between her age and demeanor.
By the time you get to “Solitary Daughter,” you aren’t surprised to find it reads more like poetry than lyrics. It’s a track full of descriptive verses and metaphors set in motion by subtle guitar riffs.
“I don’t want your pity, concern or your scorn. I’m calm by my lonesome. I feel right at home. And when the wind blows, I get to dancing. My fun is the rhythm of air when it’s prancing,” Bedouine sings.
The album’s tone breaks away momentarily to include a haunting commentary on current events. “Summer Cold,” a protest song is a lamentation written in reaction to Syrian terrorists using American made weapons. Born in Aleppo, Syria, Korkejian expresses her sorrow and frustration with breathtaking grace.
“Is this the end? I don’t want anything, ever, to do with them …”
“Summer Cold” is an outlier though, and the rest of the album remains sentimental, if not nostalgic. ‘Bedouine’ ends with “Skyline,” a captivating song that provides a soothing punctuation mark.
Her musical prowess shines through in the form of delicate guitar picking and nurturing instrumentals including rolling drums and softened horns. These instrumentals fill up the background while Korkejian woos us with charming vocals.
Korkejian easily becomes the heroine of your wanderlust saga as she invite you into her thoughts. Her music reflects a shifting perspective catalyzed by travel and personal growth where the pace of the music is as steady as her lyrics.
In ‘Bedouine,’ Korkejian doesn’t reinvent the singer/songwriter wheel, but she does smooth the path it travels on.