I missed Habibi so much. The very first time I first heard ‘The Sweetest Talk’ back in 2013 I knew I had found a new favourite band, and their subsequent debut album didn’t disappoint even though I failed to land a physical copy, something that still haunts me to this day.

All these years without further news felt like a lover leaving unexpectedly too soon, just as we were beginning to know each other better; so you can only imagine how I felt when I learned the girls were unleashing new material. First taster ‘Nedayeh Bahar’ felt like they had never left, and the tracks that followed reignited a passion that never really went away.

In spite of being an EP — and subsequently shorter than a proper full-length follow-up to their 2014 debut —, Cardamom Garden suffers exactly from the same problem Habibi’s first LP did: it’s too short. Agreed, their tunes hypnotise you into believing time is but an illusion, and ten minutes of music easily become ten seconds — just like when you’re spending time with someone you love and mundane concepts such as hours become irrelevant and elastic. Maybe it’s the Arabic undertones. Maybe it’s the vocal harmonies. Maybe it’s their undeniable coolness that places the girls above any classification by encircling them with an allure of indifference you only find in the quietest high school Queen Bees — the ones who didn’t need to be bossy or mean to prove they were queens.

Cardamom Garden finds us sweating it out inside a tent in the middle of the Iranian desert, with ‘Khodaya’ suddenly emerging from nothing at all, miraculously bright and fresh like a much needed oasis. As soon as you drink from it, the source vanishes just as quickly as it had first appeared, leaving ‘Gypsy Love’ in its place. ‘Nedayeh Bahar’ and ‘Green Fuz’ complete the brief and exotic bouquet, the latter sounding like the long lost child of Saeed and the Shangri-Las.

I want more. I need more. I find myself listening to Cardamom Garden in loop, just like a lover that feverishly re-reads a goodbye missive in the hope of feeling temporary solace in those scarce and ephemeral words.

Please come back soon.