[dropcap]Many[/dropcap] of us take refuge in music to express sorrows and anguish that words can often fail to convey. Regarding the loss of some of our musical heroes in 2016—there has been meme going around expressing the zeitgeist of our grief stating:

“My heroes are dead, and my enemies in power”

Azar Swan—the musical collaboration between Zohra Atash and Joshua Strawn are expressing these emotions through their covers of David Bowie’s This Is Not America and Leonard Cohen’s The Future, the former of which evokes to my memory the reassuring plea of Kate Bush during her duet with Peter Gabriel to “Don’t Give up”.

On the inauguration of Trump, Joshua Strawn has this to say:

“What happened today marked the culmination of many things that have been coming. A lot of “if we don’t change course, we might wake up one day and” situations. Naiveté about Russian intentions and methods; inability to speak honestly about theocratic militarism; decay of public discourse; degradation of media as it tries to abide by social media incentives; and the far right’s appropriation of left wing identity politics and language of tolerance as a means to smuggle some of the most bold bigotry into our politics. And it’s not just in America. The fact that this has happened here only shows how huge and deep the problem is. Now is not the time for optimism or cynicism in my view. It’s time for a new realism. One that’s not so skeptical it assumes everything is a lie, and one that’s not gullible, either. Critical engagement happens when you know what to believe and when. As far as I’m concerned that’s the only way we change course.”

Azar Swan will be performing in Europe this  summer and a new album will be released on aufnahme + wiedergabe this Fall.


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