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A few years ago a Brooklyn act called Religious to Damn released what was to be their only album, the hypnotic and atmospheric Glass Prayer. Guest musicians such as Bad Seed Jim Sclavonious, Jarboe, Tamaryn and Chelsea Wolfe were all associated with the group as they seemed set for greater things.

It wasn't to be and the core of that band - vocalist and principal songwriter Zohra Atash and multi-instrumentalist Josh Strawn - decided to move away from the large chamber ensemble set-up and strip things back to just the two of them, transformed into a more immediate, electronic-based duo by the name of Azar Swan.

And Blow Us A Kiss is Azar Swan's second full-length release and it comes across as a vibrant and pulsing electronic pop record, without losing the edgy atmospherics and darker touches that long term followers of this duo might expect. The title track is one of the best examples of how they weave their influences together. It manages to combine an industrial edge, tribal rhythms, a weaving melodic vocal and an anthemic refrain.

The pop sensibilities are nicely tempered with darker elements. The excellent and infectious 'For Last And Forever' takes industrial beats and reshapes them for the dance floor. 'We Hunger' is a catchy song which has big fat descending bass notes underpinning the chorus, and 'Kiss of Life' embellishes a pop tune with interesting, almost unsettling arrangements which are reminiscent of the likes of the Art of Noise. 'Sugar' is such a gorgeous tune with a pulsing bass at its heart, and is also one of Zohra most impressive vocal performances.

In fact let's talk about her voice for a moment. She manages to combine the power of someone like Diamanda Galas with the warmth and subtle pop touches of Kate Bush. The pulsating mix of synth-pop and darkwave that make up the likes of 'Hush' and 'Strange Language' is stretched even further into odd shapes by her soaring vocals. On the moody and down tempo 'Blank Space' Zohra builds her lines into a kind of Middle Eastern trance which gives way to an archived recording of a male voice speaking Dari or Farsi - these are the only hints towards her Afghan parents, although the influence of that musical culture, and in particular the powerful vocalists from the Middle East, has certainly had a big effect on her.

The darker atmospheric side of Azar Swan is very much evident as well, on pieces like 'Mouth of the Sky' and the more syncopated 'Bury the Sun', although it owes more to coldwave and is far removed from the shoegaze/ metal of Joshua Strawn's other act Vaura. Closing track 'Sing Me Back' is a superbly noisy slice of goth-industrial-pop and a good note to end on.

Azar Swan have set out to make a pop record and have succeeded. Currently there is so little darkness and experimentation within the world of pop that And Blow Us A Kiss comes across as a genuinely exciting record, and one which shows a lot of their contemporaries in the worlds of the goth/industrial/dancefloor crossover that they have plenty of tricks up their sleeve.

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