Monday, January 4, 2016

"Tan" by Lafawndah

Wow. I am blown away by this enigmatic, completely genre-defying track, "Tan" by singer-songwriter Lafawndah. Persian by birth, Parisian and New Yorker by choice, schooled in art history at the Sorbonne, her musical presentation is unique. The music is a fantastic mix of art-rock, electronic, rock, and definite Middle Eastern influences. The video is equally as odd and powerful. Lafawndah directed the piece and hired her friend Eshil Omar to lip-synch the song while she whispers the words to her in a VIP lounge of a disembodied nightclub. In a post modern approximation of a rap video, a man "makes it rain" over the women but instead of recognizable green dollar bills, we are presented with some form of mysterious currency of only gold squares. Finally, in a nearby room, a group of young men (including a lovely feminine creature with long hair) combine modern dance, Vogueing, and the whirling of Sufi Dervishes until Lafawndah is dragged in on a chair (!).

Pitchfork says, "She namechecks Duke Ellington on 'Tan,' while her vocal delivery reveals an ode to Björk and the thunderous beat quivering through the first half of the track might recall her days as a drummer for Mexico City all-girl tribal post-punk band Nidada. It's a strange mix of influences but Lafawndah hits all three with ease. There's a paranoiac energy to 'Tan,' an ominous vocal sample turned into a swarming beehive furious around her vocals. But around the three-minute mark, the tension breaks and 'Tan' grinds to a near halt, entering into an eerie ambient space. 'Show me what's inside,' Lafawndah intones, a robotic chill to her voice."

Her "Tan" Ep is due out February 5, 2016.

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