Indie music fans searching for great new artists might like to check out this month's debut release by Seattle-based Iska Dhaaf.
Three years in the making, all songs are written and performed by musicians Nathan Quiroga and Benjamin Verdoes. The new release opens with the Indie-rock bass-rhythm of "All the Kids," a song that recounts the memories of street kids searching for friendship, direction, meaning. This is a deep, often reflective album infused with musical mettle. For instance, the dark, sometimes brooding "Everybody Knows," about war and conflict, delivers solid musicianship interspersed with interesting guitar reverb.
The song "Dependency" begins with a soft retro-sound akin to early "Woman of 1,000 Years"- era Fleetwood Mac, then spins out into the album's overall theme of societal disenchantment, while the bright, playful and loving "Two Ones" is sheer fun.
The album peaks with "Rumi" and some amazing, smooth guitar work. It builds in a powerful progression, blending styles into an overall great musical arrangement.
The band is comprised of musicians Benjamin Verdoes (Mt St. Helens Vietnam Band) on drums and keyboards and guitarist / vocalist Nathan Quiroga - also known as Buffalo Madonna from the hip-hop "Mad Rad."
Iska Dhaaf take their name from Somali words meaning "let it go." Their music has charted on 22 college radio stations and they've been reviewed by Seattle Weekly. They currently reside in Seattle.
This album speaks about the roads so many of today's young musicians travel, seemingly despondent much of the time but fortunately, with a rich musical diversity that keeps it from becoming too bleak. In today's world, it's an understandable world-view that expresses itself in many art forms, but in this fine album the music also conveys strength and hope -- especially within its exceptionally well-delivered title track, "Even the Sun," the albums apex.
Track 12: Even the Sun
It's no wonder Iska Dhaaf are off to such a strong start, receiving airplay and finding popularity among all ages with this, their first effort. Recommended.
On Brick Lane Records, "Even the Sun will Burn" comes with song lyrics and photos and is currently found online at http://iskadhaaf.com/
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