Recommended Listening: Arooj Aftab - Vulture Prince
DC's tagline is "a space to discover new sounds," but we also highlight albums that you may already know, or have at least heard about. Honestly, we aren't working with any set criteria over here, and really just enjoy writing about music we like, regardless of the amount of attention that music receives.
Over the past couple of months, Arooj Aftab's Vulture Prince has been hyped by NPR, NYT, Pitchfork, and so many other industry titans. Together, these pros have comprehensively detailed the Pakistani artist's work, and even though DC has few unique insights to offer at this point, given the quality and quantity of what has already been written, we still want to take a moment to make clear how much we truly love this album.
We often write the phrase "sit with an album" but really, we are cooking or reading or driving while listening - not exactly devoting our full, undivided attention to a piece of music. However, the first notes of album-opener Baghon Main are so stunning, so mesmerizing, that the song warrants 100% focus. Aftab takes you to her world, away from whatever mundane task you are doing, and keeps you transfixed for the entirety of Vulture Prince.
Six of the album's seven songs are these beautifully flowing tapestries, as Aftab weaves together layered strings and vocals. But there is one outlier found right in the middle. Last Night is a dubby English-language jam - the only such song on Vulture Prince. And though it feels a bit out of place, given the rest of the album's melancholy feel and repeated allusions to death, Last Night is un undeniably awesome track.
So while this may not be DC's most verbose post, just a few words of praise instead, we give Arooj Aftab's Vulture Prince our highest recommendation. You can stream and purchase the album here, and listen to one of the two aforementioned highlights below. And it looks as if Aftab may be making a late-summer/early-fall swing through the PNW, so look out for that too.