Bedouine – Bird Songs of a Killjoy review

Secret Meeting score: 81

by Philip Moss

The promotional video for Bedouine’s recent lead single, When You’re Gone, denotes a sepia filled world. A world captured on flickering film where hazy islands are enveloped by gently lapping waves, and where flights of birds swoop over head, as overflowing waterfalls and silent clouds drift over mountain tops. It’s a pastoral world. And it’s a vision that absolutely encompasses the feeling that Azniv Korkejian aka Bedouine’s gently riveting music conjures – none more so than her new record, Bird Songs of a Killjoy. 

When You’re Gone is reflective – a thread of aching melancholia can be traced throughout its yearning lyric – ‘Walking circles ’round the room / Playing verses from the same old tunes… I love you, you love how much I love you.’ It’s tender folk soundtrack backs her narrative in the most fitting of ways – feeling mournful and entrancing in equal measures.

References to nature are not isolated to the When You’re Gone video either. The beautiful Nick Drake evoking Bird returns to the theme of past relationships – ‘I kept the bottle we drank from together, I don’t know; is that insane?’ – while using a metaphorical caged bird to represent a former partner as she begs to question her past actions and how she can move forward in her life. Bird Gone Wild is again autobiographical, this time casting a gazing eye over the family home, but it’s Korkejian herself that takes on the role of the trapped bird this time. Hummingbird is more positive in its imagery, and it’s lush, fluttering strings make it – without question – one of the most elegant moments on an album that’s packed full of them.

The LA based singer’s label, Spacebomb, is building a reputation for releasing exclusively beautiful sounding records. Recorded with Beck and Norah Jones collaborator, Gus Seyffert, Bird Songs of a Killjoy is undoubtedly up there with the best they have released to date. And despite its overarching feeling of poetic darkness, it’s a world that’s yearning to get lost in.

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