This is as spare as music can be – songs stripped to their essence and just gorgeous. Azniv Korkejian is Bedouine, a singer and acoustic guitarist who echoes sounds from the 1960's North American folk songwriters, but with vocal inflections that feel closer to Leonard Cohen than to Joni Mitchell or Joan Baez.
Azniv Korkejian was born in Aleppo Syria. Her parents were Armenian and she spent her childhood in Saudi Arabia. But a green card lottery win found her family moving to Boston and Houston. Eventually she made her way to Los Angeles with important time spent in Austin, Texas and Savannah, Ga. The name she chose, Bedouine, reflects the traveler, the wanderer in her.
For her first album, she teamed up with the folks from the Richmond, Va. label Spacebomb. Trey Pollard arranged some stunning subtly on her 2017 self-titled album. You may know his work from Natalie Prass, or maybe the music he wrote for the podcast S-Town. Matthew E. White, the label's founder and also a musician, produced the record. And though I deeply love the album's sound, I was entranced by Azniv Korkejian's solo performance at my desk. It's a unembellished gateway to some gracefully adorned songs.
Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Dani Lyman; Production Assistant: Joshua Bote; Photo: Bob Boilen/NPR.
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