Azar Swan have always been a project ripe for reinvention. The duo, consisting of Zorha Atash and Joshua Strawn, have been shifting sounds and exploring new sonic worlds together since their days as Religious to Damn, proving that the best musical projects are willing to take bold, passionate risks. With that in mind, we’re honored to premiere the title track from their upcoming LP, entitled The Hissing of a Paper Crane, due out on October 25th via Primal Architecture Records.
The track, which clocks in at nearly eight minutes, begins with throbbing synth bass and Atash’s naked voice. “I am the beggar of the world. A wounded animal on the river of memory,” she gently sings, as a shrill synth drone begins to manifest. Atash’s voice is sporadically joined by Strawn’s, both run through a series of filters and channeling challenging records such as Diamanda Galás’ Plague Mass, Scott Walker’s Tilt, and Prurient’s Pleasure Ground in full, a stellar trio of influences to play against the band’s already expansive sonic palate. Eventually, the track collapses into sheets of chaotic noise, a truly welcome and terrifying industrial apocalypse that drives every inch of delicious tension deep into the core.
The Hissing of a Paper Crane is the first Azar Swan record to feature a series of well-known guest collaborators, including Terence Hannum (Locrian, The Holy Circle) on the title track above. Other guests on the record include Mark Solotroff (BLOODYMINDED, Anatomy of Habit), Doug Moore (Pyrrhon), Paige A. Flash (Cult of Youth), Thomas Boettner (Straight Panic), Justin Blaire Vial (Kindest Lines), and Ed Strohsahl (Billie Davies). The album’s many fruitful collaborations stem from Atash’s previous vocal work with Ancient Methods, the original stems which were also used to create opening track “The Next Great Dying.” The band then decided to open the floodgates, allowing the work to shift and evolve through both these contributions as well as their own ever-expanding interests and ability to craft a menacing, mesmerizing atmosphere. While the results are far less traditional than previous Azar Swan material, the rewards are much greater, eschewing pop pleasures for powerful exorcisms.
Check below for the full album artwork and track listing, as well as details for the album release show in NYC with Pop 1280 ad Canal Street Electronics, also serving as a benefit for El Comedor and Contra Viento y Marea:
Azar Swan- The Hissing of the Paper Crane
1. The Next Great Dying
2. Sahara Dust
3. The Hissing of the Paper Crane
4. Violence Cascade
6. The Vengeful Sun
Pre-order digital and limited edition cassette editions here.
Azar Swan with Pop 1280/Canal Street Electronics
10.25.19 @ Trans Pecos
Photo credit: Jeff Elstone
Collage by: Jonathan Canady
Album cover: Alexandra Desipris