Religious To Damn
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Religious To Damn

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Avant-garde


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Falls Down Again 7"
Glass Prayer LP



Zohra Atash's brainchild Religious To Damn is that rarest of jewels--sophisticated gypsy rock and roll that's tender and aggressive, elegant and raw all in the same melodic burst. From the postpunk dancefloor to those psychedelic distant, dreamy places where dim fires illuminate the nighttime, the universe Atash creates is at times expansive, at times intimate, and always compelling. The project began to take shape when Zohra took to the studio with a small collective of fellow New York musicians. It wasn't long before notables like Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) came on board, adding drums to the song 'Mayflies,' not to mention his sagely mentorship in the studio. Born from these sessions are the tracks on her upcoming Falls Down Again 7" mixed by Warren Defever (His Name Is Alive), released and sold out on M'Lady's records.

Zohra's purebred Afghan heritage brings droning harmonium and resonant rubab alongside rock elements to create a soundscape as welcoming to her Pashtun and Noorestani forebears as to fans of Nico's Desertshore. Surrounded by music from the time she was a child, she soaked it all in. Her multi-instrumentalist father played Beatles songs on the mandolin and introduced her to the infectious disco of Patrick Hernandez and ABBA, while her mother preferred the majestic Lebanese chanteuse Fairuz and Iranian diva Googoosh. An exotic and completely unique aesthetic collision was bound to take place as Zohra herself discovered Diamanda Galas, Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks, and Nirvana. It wasn't at all unfitting that Zohra was asked to join A Storm of Light on their 2010 US tour to sing parts that Jarboe originally recorded for the avant-doom band's epic 'Forgive Us Our Trespasses' album.

Religious To Damn made its live debut at the WIERD Live Series in the Spring of 2008. Following that very intense appearance came a Summer performance at the CSV Theater on Manhattan's Lower East Side alongside longtime ally and co-conspirator Tamaryn as well as the Finnish songstress Vuk (also of Dirty Projectors). Based in Brooklyn, Religious to Damn is set to release its debut LP in the colder months of 2010. 'Glass Prayer' was mixed by Brandon Curtis (Secret Machines, Interpol) and combines thunderous tribal drums, swirling guitars and frenetic percussion with her own brand of bewitching tunecraft. Expect, as always, songs befitting of the name: Zohra, Arabic for 'blossom,' and Atash, Persian for 'fire.'