MOTOWN MEETS THE MIDDLE EAST WORD S BY MEL ODY BER G ER PHOT OS BY IKU E YOSH IDA
Brooklyn based band Habibi, whose name means ‘my love’ in Arabic, are riding high off the buzz of their amazing self-titled album which came out on Burger Records earlier this year. With trippy sweet vocals and fuzzy guitars laced over raw pounding drums, you’ll find yourself wanting to shimmy shimmy shake and head bang at the same time. This is the first musical outing for lead singer and songwriter Rahill Jamalifard, who is heavily influenced by classic Iranian psychedelic music and poetry, along with her Detroit upbringing. (and, hey, half the Habibi ladies grew up in NYC, the others in Detroit. So thems a bunch of tough broads.) When I chatted with Rahill and drummer Karen Isabel the group was preparing for a summer filled with shows and laughter and an exciting fall tour with mainstays Shonen Knife.
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