Friday 6 September 2013


Here's some nice music. It's from Hiatus - please do forgive me for not previously having any knowledge of this person. If anything, I benefit from not knowing anything about anything by having something new to discover every day - it's good to look at the world through ignorant, well maybe not ignorant and more clueless, eyes sometimes. Only sometimes though. Other times, it's not so useful.

So yes. This is from Iranian London-based producer Hiatus (IRL name, Cyrus Shahrad; N.B. I also found out that Cyrus is a talented writer and you should check out his stuff) and features vocals from Shura - a singer from London whose voice lends a stunning diamondised beauty to the track. It's called 'Iran Air'. The song itself is quite old, being from Hiatus' recent vinyl-only album, Parklands, yet this video for it is just a day old. Conceived and directed by Cyrus himself, it tells the stories of a selection of Iranian Londoners sequestered from their home country, yet imbued with memories of their own genetic journeys through family photos. It's brimming with sentiment - and looks the part, too.

The title, 'Iran Air', I suppose refers to the idea of the air of home being different from being somewhere else, "Underneath a London sky", for instance, as the lyrics say; it's a beautiful and earnest tragedy of relocation that will resonate with anyone forced to flee their home. That isn't me. But I have empathy, don't I?

Shura's voice is just perfect. Each line lilts with feeling, shakes almost indiscernibly with loss and longing. Some sumptuous harmonies make a gleaming gem amidst the brooding futility evoked by Hiatus's mean bass lines and near-tragic strings - the human amidst the actuality of a situation. The general sound, with its flashing synth chords and the bass with its bulging sense of dread, has an urban reality to it - the kind of sound that suits grey streets sodden with rain. Perhaps its more the actual progression of the notes being played that give it a tragic air.

The beat, with something more than a little garagey about it, also serves to place the sound wholly in the sharp right angles of London's landscape. But on the other hand, those oriental strings - evoking a wholly un-London scenario - that loop in the second half of the song cut through the heavy London-ish atmosphere like the faintest reminiscence of home - the existence of of hope. It's a really beautiful song, one that sees Hiatus and Shura expertly combining the touching emotion of folk singing and atmospheric beatscaping of garage. That's as close as I can get to it.

And so you can see how lovely the lyrics are, read them here (credit to Marjan Zahed-Kindersley):

Underneath a veil of night
Underneath a veil of night and
Woken by a storm
Listening to crowds that howl and fight
Governments will fall

Leaving in a trail of light
Leaving in a trail of light and
Flying Iran Air
Looking down on every street in sight
Every park and square

From the only world I’ve known
I can’t stay, I can’t stay
Take me to another place
Far away, far away

Underneath a London sky
Underneath a London sky that’s
Lower by the day
Working someone else’s nine-to-five
For someone else’s pay

Living for a secret sign
Living for a secret sign and
Dreaming Iran Air
Looking up at every passing flight
Every one a prayer

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Hiatus on Facebook
Listen to Hiatus on Soundcloud
Hear more Hiatus on Bandcamp
Learn more about Cyrus Shahrad's on his site
Follow Hiatus on Twitter
Watch Hiatus on YouTube

Like Shura on Facebook
Listen to Shura on Soundcloud
Follow Shura on Twitter
Watch Shura on YouTube

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