Los Angeles Dark Synthpop Act The Bedroom Witch Conjures a Spellbinding Vision with “In This City”

So I want you to remember that i need you

To love me, to hold me in this city

To listen, to watch me

Listening, watching

Los Angeles-based dark synthpop creation The Bedroom Witch (aka performance artist Sepehr Mashiaof) has spent years building imaginary worlds from the discerning eye of the perpetual outsider.

In her latest opus, “In This City” off A Place of Hurt (APOH), The Bedroom Witch delivers a missive of heartache that doubles as a love letter to urban decay. The single plunges the depths of Mashiahof’s character as she threads the labyrinth of human connections, love, and self-realization.

Mashiahof reveals the song’s thematic underpinnings as obsession and fear of abandonment, exploring themes of being adrift in the unknown, seeking refuge, embracing vulnerability, and the occasional unraveling of the self.  In doing so, she remains steadfast in her defiance of societal impositions on her identity.

“But that’s how you find your resilience,” she elabourates. “So at the end of the video, I walk away from the bus stop, and away from empty promises.”

In a collaboration between Mashiahof, cinematographer Ricky Marler, and producer/filmmaker Sepand Mashiahof, the video for “In This City” takes viewers on a quest for elusive love through the liminal spaces of chaos, raw emotion, hope, and paranoia amidst an urban labyrinth. The Bedroom Witch, lost and lovelorn, meanders through the nocturnal landscapes of Los Angeles, navigating the kaleidoscope of lights and temporal terror. “In This City” is suffused with the eerie beauty of fairy-like bells, ominous machine percussion, and undulating bass synths, echoing the exquisite uncertainty of falling in love…or falling apart.

Brace yourself for a bewitching experience.

The Bedroom Witch has long been spinning narratives in the parallel universes of “Nowhere” and “Exile.” Both stand as metaphors to places in her life — one is for the homeland, Iran; the latter being the United States. Her new album, A Place of Hurt, takes place in Exile, and serves as the prequel to her 2019 concept album Diaspora, which chronicles a fantasy journey from Exile to Nowhere.

“As a Persian immigrant, exile can break your heart. But there’s also so much underlying hope in the album. There’s the hope to heal from the addictive, obsessive behavior that comes with a traumatized self, and the hope to one day be carried by love and support without feeling shame.”

Throughout the album, the cacophony of the city soundtracks various human emotions: fear of abandonment, hesitance to feel or receive love, self-sabotage, and the romanticization of pain inherent in the search for love as a trans woman who feels out of place in society. Ultimately, Mashiahof explains, APOH is about the longing for and manifestation of transformations, the art of alchemizing pain into power, and the intricate process of piecing together a fragmented self into a complete, whole being.

A Place of Hurt is out now through Psychic Eye Records and Ratskin Records.

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Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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