We/Or/Me is Bahhaj Taherzadeh, a Chicago-based singer-songwriter whose voice conjures forth Nick Drake and Sam Bean (Iron and Wine). His music hearkens back to the traditions of British folk rock, and is both spellbinding and beautiful. And because of all these things, and more, I am very happy to report that Bahhaj has written with news that his first full-length – Sleeping City – is now out on Bandcamp.
When I asked Bahhaj about the album, here’s what he sent along:
We/Or/Me is Bahhaj Taherzadeh, a manuscript editor who recently found himself awake in the small hours, often unable to return to sleep after attending to the needs of his infant twin daughters during the first year of their life. It was under these conditions, amidst a haze of exhaustion and a sense of needing to re-find his place in the world, that his debut full-length record Sleeping City was conceived and largely recorded. Taking cues and inspiration from the British folk music of the 1960s as well as the more experimental compositions of the minimalist movement, the record comes with a warmth and intimacy only found in the solitude of late night home recordings.
And indeed, tracks like “Dusk Reverie” recall the precarious, pre-dawn moments that we all inhabit from time to time. Many of the songs speak to the introspection that accompanies these early hours – two of these being the opener “Across the Country” (download below) and “Our Broken Hearts.” Both songs address the topic of love lost, and reflect the process of gathering the inner strength needed to move on. (“Our Broken Hearts” contains the refrain “I’m going home,” and each line feels like the dawn breaking… it’s really quite something.)
Sleeping City is a beautiful record full of delicate harmonies, spacious acoustic guitar parts, and warm, thoughtful vocals. The album is a very personal collection of songs, and this one in particular seems to leverage the format to bring us on a journey through the soul. In short, it’s a wonderful album – at once capable of being the soundtrack to your most quiet moments, or the backdrop for a perfect Summer evening with friends.
Have a listen to Sleeping City below, and also to the Ghostwriter EP. Both are available via Bandcamp (and Yer Bird, in the case of Ghostwriter). The copy of “Across the Country” is yours to cherish. And when you’re all done, check out We/Or/Me, and tell Bahhaj to keep up the good work!
Here’s Sleeping City:
And here’s the Ghostwriter EP: