Brooklyn/New Orleans-based duo Azar Swan continues their politically-charged, industrial-fused pop explorations with their latest single “Territorial.” The track is the first taste from Savage Exile, the duo’s third and most aggressive record yet.
While their previous work carved out a unique blend of tribal rhythms, glossy synths, and ethereal vocals, this latest offering channels the darker side of the spectrum with deeper bass drones, a steady throbbing pulse, and unsettling, building atmosphere. Zohra Atash and Joshua Strawn share vocal duties, juxtaposing commanding beauty and subtle whispers as the track builds and churns with nervous tension. Shadows of Diamanda Galás and Suspiria-era Goblin can be heard throughout “Territorial,” while Atash’s aggressive musicianship and surreal lyrics sink their teeth into the current political climate, producing a vital, caustically observant work for these times.
Azar Swan’s last release hinted at Savage Exile‘s shift in sound and focus by tapping into the dearly departed David Bowie and Leonard Cohen’s catalog with covers of “This Is Not America” and “The Future,” respectively. While these covers served a dual purpose, Atash was further driven to explore art as a means of true resistance, pushing sonic boundaries and trading in self-reflection for a much more incendiary approach. The results are as terrifying as they are satisfying, and “Territorial” leads the pack as a true statement of intent.
“This time around it’s a beautiful purging of anger” – Zohra Atash
Photo by: Angelle-Leigh Breaux