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Like her name implies, Bedouin’s music has a nomadic heart. Sweeping, hypnotic. Esoteric yet familiar. It is untethered to place because its home is everywhere.
Bedouin’s sound is for the modern cyber gypsy, dipping a curious toe in the swaying Mediterranean before caravaning for weeks across the deserts of the Middle East, and finally catching a redeye back to L.A. for a pre-dawn Southern California stroll.
“It’s in my roots,” Bedouin says over a tenuous skype connection from Saudi Arabia. “I love exploring different places and sounds. My childhood was this amalgamation of different cultures, so I’ve never really belonged to a particular place. But being nomadic can be a beautiful thing if you’re accepting of it—not knowing exactly what you’re doing or where you’re going, but with conviction. Being experimental, even with your intentions.”
An outsider and an introvert, Bedouin prefers anonymity but loves making music enough to share hers with anyone willing to listen—even if it means confronting her fears. An aversion to the spotlight led her away from the stage for several years, where she worked from the shadows, composing music for independent films and art installations until something unexpected happened—she wound up in Los Angeles and experienced the opposite of the cliché.
“The joy I get from making music has nothing to do with any kind of recognition,” Bedouin says, “so when I moved to L.A., I had no intention of pursuing music as a career. But then I started meeting so many inspiring people—talented musicians who were living these double lives, going out on the road with successful bands and playing stadiums, and then coming home to this amazing scene and playing all these great little clubs and bars. It made the idea of starting over with my music less intimidating, and it made me more comfortable with the idea of performing. L.A. actually made me less jaded.”
She soon fell in with the tight-knit community of performers in her Echo Park neighborhood, spending nights trading songs and listening to records with some of L.A.’s best underground artists. “One of my favorite ways to hang out with people,” Bedouin says, “is to take turns listening to each other’s music, bouncing ideas back and forth.”
It was on just such a night that she met collaborator Jake Blanton (The Killers, Father John Misty, Jenny O.), with whom she would record the songs for her new self-titled EP. “I tried not to have too many expectations,” Bedouin says. “We were just having a good time hanging out.”
The two co-wrote “The City,” and put together a short yet memorable set of songs propelled by insistent, mesmerizing beats, and anchored by chiming guitar, daydreamy piano and above all, Bedouin’s unforgettable voice. Impressionistic, her languid vocals swirl into the ether, another color in the palette, another instrument in the band. Her words roll soft off the tongue, careful brushstrokes, oil paint swept across a canvas. The music is beautiful and striking, always revelling quietly in its search for some enigmatic unknown just out of reach. There is no ego here, no filter between Bedouin’s heart and her songs.
And the best part is that there is more to come. As a follow-up to this new EP, Bedouin plans to release her debut full-length in 2014.