Happiness, the second in a series of releases from Seattle’s Iska Dhaaf, reveals another layer of the band’s compositional and lyrical depth. Rich with existentialist thought, the songs are searching and honest.
The title track is in pursuit of the ever-elusive idea of contentment. Narrator Nathan Quiroga seems to float above himself, past and future swarming together. Similarly, the immediate and the abstract are compressed into an amalgam. The arrangement twists in the minor and lifts in the major. In contrast to its dark and caustic themes, the vocal melodies are mostly sung in soft harmony, carrying Quiroga along until they both erupt. In the end, two conclusions reveal themselves.
Rumi, largely inspired by the poem “The Tavern” (by the Sufi poet from which the song derives its name) looks out from the soul, seeking refuge from the claustrophobic body and mind.
It tells of the alluring call to inhabit former selves. Like the lyrical themes the music seductively shifts and bends, exploring the very structure it will attempt to escape. The drums and bass push forcefully ahead until the melodies blossom into a series of crescendos, each greater than the one previous, unraveling as they spiral off into eternity.
released 03 September 2013
All songs written by Nathan Quiroga & Benjamin Verdoes
Engineered & mixed by Ephriam Nagler at Dub Narcotic Studios
Mastered by UE Nastasi at Sterling Sound
Iska Dhaaf (taken from Somali, translated roughly to “let it go”)
Inspired by Sufi
poetry, limitation, and an obsessive preoccupation with writing, Nathan Quiroga and Benjamin Verdoes have fused their seemingly disparate musical and personal backgrounds into something searching and honest. Their songs, with heavy rhythms and cutting melodic hooks, are at once infectious and sweetly disarming...more