Album Review: Bedouine – Bird Songs Of A Killjoy

As the raindrops drip down the window on a wet Sunday afternoon in June, one questions when the hell Summer is going to start. But for the moment, there’s little to do but cozy up on the sofa, put on a record and wait for the sun to show. Luckily, Bedouine’s new album Bird Songs Of A Killjoy is the perfect soundtrack for a day like today.

Azniv Korkejian, aka Bedouine, unveils her follow-up to 2017’s self-titled record next week, and it truly is a beaut. Sun-kissed, warm and nostalgic in its sound, Bird Songs Of A Killjoy allows the listener a moment of tranquillity, a moment to escape the utter nonsense of the current world around us and appreciate the swooping, swooning, lush sounds of Bedouine’s music.

Vocally, Korkejian has a softness that seems immediately calming and familiar. Album opener “Under the Night” is counted in with a whisper, before luscious orchestral elements ease in smoothly alongside sweet backing vocals and softly-plucked guitar strings. “When You’re Gone” is equally as stunning, with Korkejian’s voice at the forefront of a delicate and gorgeous, dreamlike melody.

Lyrically, there are common themes of love, loss and reflection, many of which are referenced through the image of a fluttering bird – be it caged or free to roam the earth. One particular standout is “Bird Gone Wild” which reflects on a history that has been unquestionably distressing, but finds some comfort in Korkejian’s journey from pillar to post. As a kid, her family moved from Syria, to Saudi Arabia, to multiple towns in America. It was clearly a testing and tumultuous time for her and in this track she states: “Don’t let me down / I’m beating ‘round a cage like a Bird gone wild.”

The likes of “Dizzy” and the glorious single “Echo Park” showcase a more lively style to Bedouine’s work, with some beautifully-layered sounds kicking in over her swirling vocals. The former ends with a suitably dizzying soundscape, whilst the latter, described by Korkejian as a song about ‘hanging on for dear life’, is a bouncy yet blissful number to get lost in.

Bird Songs Of A Killjoy is a truly special piece of work. There’s nothing new here, but as a record it provides a much needed moment of respite – it’s peaceful, dreamy, melodic and deeply beautiful in so many ways. If it is going to rain on a Sunday afternoon in June, at least we now have this record to cozy up with. Pour us another cup of tea, we’re off to get lost with Bedouine…

Dom Kay