Salwa Azar
Gig Seeker Pro

Salwa Azar

London, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Solo Folk Americana

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Dec
21
Salwa Azar @ The Finsbury

Harringay, England, United Kingdom

Harringay, England, United Kingdom

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"Thamesis Landscapes from an Imagined City"

Another shuffle down a corridor lined with stuffed crows found us in a claustrophobic cellar while Salwa Azar sang a beautifully haunting and vaguely unreal folk song to an audience so mesmerised that they forgot to look at their iPhones. - Londonist Blog


"Thamesis Landscapes from an Imagined City"

Another shuffle down a corridor lined with stuffed crows found us in a claustrophobic cellar while Salwa Azar sang a beautifully haunting and vaguely unreal folk song to an audience so mesmerised that they forgot to look at their iPhones. - Londonist Blog


"FFS New Bands Panel: Salwa Azar"

Alela Diane
Alessi's Ark
Anais Mitchell
Andrew Davie
Angus and Julia Stone
Anna Calvi
Au Revoir Simone
Beth Jeans Houghton
Blue Roses
Bob Dylan
Bon Iver
Broadcast 2000
Caitlin Rose
Cherbourg
Cocos Lovers
Dan Michaelson & The Coastguards
Darren Hayman
Derek Meins - The Agitator
Diane Cluck
Draw Me Stories
Eels
Emily & the Woods
Emmy The Great
Erland & the Carnival
Fanfarlo
Field Music
First Aid Kit
Gideon Conn
Herman Dune
It Hugs Back
Jay Jay Pistolet
Jeffrey Lewis
Jeremy Warmsley
Johnny Flynn
Joni Mitchell
King Creosote
kristin hersh
Kurran and the Wolfnotes
Laura Hocking
Laura Marling
Left With Pictures
Lissie
Local Natives
Matthew & the Atlas
Mechanical Bride
Micah P. Hinson
Midlake
Mountain Man
Mumford & Sons
Noah & the Whale
Noah and the Whale
Pagan Wanderer Lu
Peggy Sue
Pete Roe
Rachael Dadd
Regina Spektor
Rufus Wainwright
Ryan O’Reilly
Sam Airey
Schmercuries 2010
Sea of Bees
She & Him
Slow Club
Sons of Noel and Adrian
Stars of Sunday League
Stornoway
St Vincent
The Beach Boys
The Decemberists
The Divine Comedy
The Dufflefolks
The Dø
The Leisure Society
The Low Anthem
The Miserable Rich
The Mountain Goats
The New Pornographers
Theoretical Girl
The Wave Pictures
Tiny Birds
Treetop Flyers
Tristram
Tune Yards
Tunng
Villagers
Wilco
Wild Beasts
Woodpigeon

FFS New Bands Panel: Salwa Azar
9 October 2010
By Ian Parker

salwa

London’s Salwa Azar uses a “ukelele and some other ramshackle instruments” to make her music, but, as our panel found out, from simple things can come wonderful sounds.
AliceSageAlice Sage: This woman has a truly lovely voice. It trips and slides along like a stringed instrument, growing orchestral strength and slipping into solo softness with ease and care. Her MySpace page has only scratchy demos and low-quality live recordings. However, the gentle acoustic accompaniments – guitar, ukelele, etc. are given a lusciously warm quality by this treatment. Her lyrics have developed from the early simplicity of These Woes and Junkyard Car to the very visual, textural, style of Shine and Floating in Milk. I far prefer the joy of Floating in Milk to the fairly self-involved gloom of her other tracks. Even Something Beautiful which is a nice, happy love song, sounds depressing. Moodiness certainly suits her voice but a little variety wouldn’t go amiss and she is surely capable of more.

helenHelen True: Salwa Azar is a lady with skills. The close detail of her ukulele playing and the haunting resonance of her lyrics gang up on the unsuspecting listener and bedazzles them with low-fi, magical wonder. There’s something almost incantatory about her songs, with her voice rising, lilting and falling over the bare uke chords, echoing into the distance. There’s a touch of the PJ Harveys about Azar’s lyrics – dark, intelligent and from the dark, visceral centre of he psyche. She’s a multi-instrumentalist and, I think, a bit of a poet.

Ali (1) Ali Mason: There’s a depth of sound to Salwa Azar’s music which shouldn’t oughta come out of one woman and her ukulele. Perhaps that comes in part from the inevitable echo of the live performances which feature on her Seasons Change EP, but there’s an undeniable richness there, particularly in opener Floating In Milk. Azar employs riff and repetition to hypnotic effect and if things seem a little melancholy, there’s a sense of humour to go along with the sadness in Vodka Amour. Non-EP track Junkyard Car shows another side with its breaks and asymmetry. Azar is a storyteller who demands and holds your attention.

Check out Salwa Azar for yourself here. - Ian Parker/ For Folk's Sake


"FFS New Bands Panel: Salwa Azar"

Alela Diane
Alessi's Ark
Anais Mitchell
Andrew Davie
Angus and Julia Stone
Anna Calvi
Au Revoir Simone
Beth Jeans Houghton
Blue Roses
Bob Dylan
Bon Iver
Broadcast 2000
Caitlin Rose
Cherbourg
Cocos Lovers
Dan Michaelson & The Coastguards
Darren Hayman
Derek Meins - The Agitator
Diane Cluck
Draw Me Stories
Eels
Emily & the Woods
Emmy The Great
Erland & the Carnival
Fanfarlo
Field Music
First Aid Kit
Gideon Conn
Herman Dune
It Hugs Back
Jay Jay Pistolet
Jeffrey Lewis
Jeremy Warmsley
Johnny Flynn
Joni Mitchell
King Creosote
kristin hersh
Kurran and the Wolfnotes
Laura Hocking
Laura Marling
Left With Pictures
Lissie
Local Natives
Matthew & the Atlas
Mechanical Bride
Micah P. Hinson
Midlake
Mountain Man
Mumford & Sons
Noah & the Whale
Noah and the Whale
Pagan Wanderer Lu
Peggy Sue
Pete Roe
Rachael Dadd
Regina Spektor
Rufus Wainwright
Ryan O’Reilly
Sam Airey
Schmercuries 2010
Sea of Bees
She & Him
Slow Club
Sons of Noel and Adrian
Stars of Sunday League
Stornoway
St Vincent
The Beach Boys
The Decemberists
The Divine Comedy
The Dufflefolks
The Dø
The Leisure Society
The Low Anthem
The Miserable Rich
The Mountain Goats
The New Pornographers
Theoretical Girl
The Wave Pictures
Tiny Birds
Treetop Flyers
Tristram
Tune Yards
Tunng
Villagers
Wilco
Wild Beasts
Woodpigeon

FFS New Bands Panel: Salwa Azar
9 October 2010
By Ian Parker

salwa

London’s Salwa Azar uses a “ukelele and some other ramshackle instruments” to make her music, but, as our panel found out, from simple things can come wonderful sounds.
AliceSageAlice Sage: This woman has a truly lovely voice. It trips and slides along like a stringed instrument, growing orchestral strength and slipping into solo softness with ease and care. Her MySpace page has only scratchy demos and low-quality live recordings. However, the gentle acoustic accompaniments – guitar, ukelele, etc. are given a lusciously warm quality by this treatment. Her lyrics have developed from the early simplicity of These Woes and Junkyard Car to the very visual, textural, style of Shine and Floating in Milk. I far prefer the joy of Floating in Milk to the fairly self-involved gloom of her other tracks. Even Something Beautiful which is a nice, happy love song, sounds depressing. Moodiness certainly suits her voice but a little variety wouldn’t go amiss and she is surely capable of more.

helenHelen True: Salwa Azar is a lady with skills. The close detail of her ukulele playing and the haunting resonance of her lyrics gang up on the unsuspecting listener and bedazzles them with low-fi, magical wonder. There’s something almost incantatory about her songs, with her voice rising, lilting and falling over the bare uke chords, echoing into the distance. There’s a touch of the PJ Harveys about Azar’s lyrics – dark, intelligent and from the dark, visceral centre of he psyche. She’s a multi-instrumentalist and, I think, a bit of a poet.

Ali (1) Ali Mason: There’s a depth of sound to Salwa Azar’s music which shouldn’t oughta come out of one woman and her ukulele. Perhaps that comes in part from the inevitable echo of the live performances which feature on her Seasons Change EP, but there’s an undeniable richness there, particularly in opener Floating In Milk. Azar employs riff and repetition to hypnotic effect and if things seem a little melancholy, there’s a sense of humour to go along with the sadness in Vodka Amour. Non-EP track Junkyard Car shows another side with its breaks and asymmetry. Azar is a storyteller who demands and holds your attention.

Check out Salwa Azar for yourself here. - Ian Parker/ For Folk's Sake


"Fatea - Album Review"

This is another of those infuriating instances when I've been totally unable to find out anything about the artist whose CD I'm reviewing. There's nothing biographical on Salwa's own website, which contains only the statement: "I have always sung. I have always written. Now you are part of my journey, that beautiful moment when others listen". Her Facebook page gives her hometown as "London, UK". There's no press release. Search engines yield nothing informative either. OK, the background's not crucial, and the music should speak for itself - which to a large extent it does. And OK, at least the booklet for Salwa's debut album does provide proper personnel credits and acknowledgements. Which is more that some releases do… So I won't be too churlish.

Suffice to say first, that it's a really interesting disc, one that catches the senses at once and doesn't let go for its whole length. And it's evident that Salwa's a true individual, with a distinctive outlook and expressive method that neither seems to reference any other songwriter nor sound like any other artist. Her act is hard to classify too. I've been more than sufficiently intrigued by Salwa's chameleon-like musical personality, and can tentatively just possibly compare her with Kirsty McGee, and then only really in terms of a common soft-spoken sensitivity and understated versatility. Salwa's assured and lyrical ukulele playing forms a common backdrop, with limpid and inventive ancillary textures provided by cello, double bass and gentle drumming (Matt Hill), with occasional use of lyre harp, slide guitar, trumpet, glockenspiel and shruti. Salwa's responsible for all lyrics and music on the album, and she sings with the greatest confidence and conviction, generally in a quite gorgeous and deliberately enunciated tone (you can hear every word), with the odd (surprising) ululatory outburst along the way (the close of Fighter).

Styling is mostly indie-s/s-folk with dashes of country and jazz (the lovely, homely closing track's even unprepossessingly titled Untitled Folk Song!). Each playthrough both reveals fresh delights and changes one's preferences, but I can maybe draw your attention to these tracks as highlights: the strange, swirling textures of Poseidon Sea, the floaty gait of White Horse, the pensive Eucalyptus And Pine, the deft bossanova of Table Top Love, the keening Oarsman that builds from a forlorn seafaring-ballad into a driven exhortation to rowing motion, the chirpy Americana-country of Vodka (Mon Amour). But then, the whole gamut of Black Feather Wooden Chair can be termed a striking, unusual, uncompromising and adventurous offering from an enigmatic and elusive young lady: one that cannot easily be ignored - and shouldn't! - Fatea


"Fresh on the Net BBC Radio with Tom Robinson"

In terms of beverages that I would enjoy finding myself floating in, I cannot say that milk would be anywhere in my top 10 (although the slightly milky Bailey’s Irish Cream does make an appearance at #4), but the imagery does lend itself well to a song by ukulele and Shruthri-armed artist Salwa Azar. Floating In Milk is a lovely little folk track that takes you away to a different place entirely. - The BBC


"Folk Radio - Album Review"

This may be Salwa Azar’s debut album but this lady has clearly been working hard for some time now playing gigs and honing her craft. Her first EP Seasons Change was released in July 2010 and with several EP’s under her belt we finally get the chance to hear her debut full-length album Black Feather Wooden Chair, one which is as beautiful and charming as it is mystical.

Recorded in Fulham, London, and engineered by Matt Hill this little gem of self-penned stories, fables and folktales took over 18 months to get it down to the finished article but was definitely worth the wait.

Salwa says she was brought up on a mixture of classical and world music and only really branched into folk in her early 20’s. Listening to the album, although you can hear many different genres within, the mainstay of the album definitely lies on that folk shelf although there are hints of Americana, Country, Bossa Nova and even a taste of laid back Jazz thrown in for good measure which add colour and variety throughout.

The core strength of the album lies in Salwa’s vocals, sung with clarity, sensitivity and charm, plus her ukulele – an impressive, unconventional tuning, that’s not at all familiar to me and more reminiscent of guitar technique.

Opening with Clouds, this short introduction paves the way to where we are heading, a mystical musical journey in dream time heightened by Salwa’s atmospheric cello playing and from here on in she simply continues to impress. Shine is a gentle yet haunting song exposing vulnerabilities and inner torment…”I just want to be heard, Shout at myself and scream at the world, Because everything focuses down to this one decision.”

On the cool jazzy Table Top Love the double bass of John Parker elegantly intermingles with Salwa’s ukulel, you can hear why Parker is so sought after in session work having performed on albums for the likes of Blue Rose Code, Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker and Paper Aeroplanes. From here she unfolds her world further with the strange but magical Floating in Milk and ghostly tales of White Horse.

We venture into a dark Celtic setting for Oarsman, a song which carries a strong cinematic atmosphere that would sit well in a film score for the likes The Vikings, placing you right into the very heart of the longboat as you travel across those still dark waters.

Vodka (Mon Amour) changes tempo and feel with traces of Americana and Country. A fun song that has that close intimate end of party feel. Taking walks along the beach with the scent of Eualyptus and Pine, at peace with the world and worries out of sight this provides an intimate insight into her world.

Poseidon Sea flows within the musical arena of Oarsman and definitely heads towards that darker side of folk with haunting yet alluring siren-like vocals. A very hook-laden little number follows with Fighter. Joined once again by John Parker the song ends on a bedouin-like cry to drive home her conviction of that repeated song mantra “no one’s going to get on over on me”.

Whilst Junkyard Car is indicative of the state of her broken love, the lyrics maintain a sage-like brightness and wit, a hint of acceptance and inner-strength. The album finishes with Untitled Folk Song a jaunty finale on which she sings with just her ukulele for company, proof that Salwa Azar is as inventive solo as she is with support.

Black Feather Wooden Chair is both gentle and bright, built on a solid bed-rock of talent. One that wraps and envelopes the listener into the quirky world of Salwa Azar, from start to finish it leaves you wanting more. Intelligent and well recorded, we’re looking forward to hearing more.

Definitely one worth checking out. - Folk Radio


Discography

Debut album 'Black Feather Wooden Chair' released January 2015 to critical acclaim and national radio airplay on the BBC.

2015 - 'Black Feather Wooden Chair' released, national airplay follows with local radio support and hit london shows.

2011 - Domus Magazine Mixtape the sound of London, curated by electronic artist Scanner- handpicked Poseidon Sea to be featured in a downloadable podcast.

2011- For America EP1

2011- Radio Essex feature + Phone interview

2010- Season's Change EP

2010-Live session for Surrey Live and Unsigned at Brooklands Radio.

Photos

Bio

Sparse, beautiful, intense.

Salwa Azar creates a vortex of cinematic sound, from her folksy mandolin-like ukulele, to her earthy, wistful singing.

A live atmosphere that is both electric and will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Debut album 'Black Feather Wooden Chair' released January 2015 to critical acclaim and national radio airplay on the BBC.

Band Members