Let me start by saying this is the first time I’ve ever listened to a band from Tehran, Iran. Ever. I was a bit worried that I would superfluously use words like Persian-like, instrumental and classical-influences. I write to you today – completely in awe of something that I too quickly judged by its cover. “Soul Man of the East” from BANAFSH’s forthcoming album, A Pledge For Peace, is an anthem waiting to be joined.
BANAFSH’s lead vocalist, a male voice with deep delivery, brings beauty in such an unconventional way. Not only do the lyrics lend themselves to positivity and a call for coming together, the lead guitar riffs triumphantly pack an added punch to the already memorable vocal presentation. While his voice may feel too dark, the message and the music bed conjoin into making this Eden-esque idea.
Truthfully, with the amount of band members in BANAFSH (there are nine), I was hoping for a wall of sound – a more powerful chorus. Still, the subtle one male-voice vocals wrapped around full percussions, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards and even violins thrive nonetheless. This doesn’t leave much room for improvisation, but as a listener I could tell each note had its place; a calculated feeling, yes, but tight.
Lyrics like “I’m preaching, as the soul-man of the east, been blessed by a holy man and a priest” might feel contrite to some listeners. It took me a few listens to get past this. After a few listens, the orchestration weaves its way through you … capturing this wave of emotion and imagery. The guitar’s ‘voice’ is just unending. It finds you and hugs you like an old friend.
Fans of Sting’s “Desert Rose” and indie music will dig this track. While it doesn’t have the bells and whistles like an EDM or even a dingy punk tune, there’s an emerging joy waiting to be unleashed.
Just as the keyboards, vocals, percussion and guitars worked together, as a listener my mind had to keep up with my tapping toes and bobbing head. You can say my mind became open and is finally (peacefully) beside.