New Noise Magazine is extremely stoked to be bringing forth the premiere of Hahaha from Yazan. The New Yorker of Palestinian lineage is releasing this via Exploding In Sounds records on April 20th, but the entire record can be heard below.
The blending of Hahaha is what brings Yazan to life. The nine tracks take snapshots of the life surrounding, putting forth the human essence into the atmosphere, backing the record with a relatable experience for all. The reflective guitar tone that immediately begins “Hahaha” opens the door for the vocal lines to expand and lead the way. “The Star” focuses on a more thick soundscape, with strummed notes ringing out within layers of feedback, slowing the pace down with a bombastic, soaring chorus. Each track finds the prowess of Yazan ripping through different lines of guitar work with ease, creatively tying ends together within the amount of intricacy. This is a really urgent record that shines a wonderful light on attention to detail and creating a narrative. Take a listen below.
Yazan and his delusively grandiose ideals are certainly a product of his young life in a peaceful international community in Manhattan of the 1980s and early 90s. Born to a couple of Palestinian refugees who landed in New York in the 1970s, Yazan was raised among the clouds in a high-rise apartment towering over the East River. His summers spent visiting family in crowded Middle Eastern slums gave him an appreciation for his first-world privileges at a young age; sharply contrasting with the dominant culture of entitlement pervading his hometown, his sense of gratitude for peace and stability has deeply influenced Yazan’s art and values. He strives to create work that comforts those alienated and affected by imbalance, and he hopes to startle and inspire the complacent into action towards peace and justice. Even his deluxe worldly academic education failed to prepare him for introduction into the “real world”: day two of work at his first adult job at a multinational financial corporation was in New York’s financial district on Sept 11 2001, where he personally experienced the chaos and destruction of his generation’s greatest tragedy. Shaken by the events and the resulting outpouring of hatred and violence, Yazan has since committed to use his work as a platform for sustainable, humanistic values. His existence is the result of the violence and conflict he hopes to help quell through his expressions.
Yazan’s homegrown reputation has been steadily growing throughout Brooklyn, known for one the most dynamic and powerful voices in the city’s DIY scene. Yazan has been playing music for decades, but his focus changed while hosting and performing at late night juke joint jams in his now retired Williamsburg basement speakeasy, Shoulder Tap (aka The Tiger Lounge). Determined to let his creativity shine, Yazan’s passion for rock ’n’ roll, collaboration, the night life, community, and the ability to engage people in a meaningful way were pushed to the forefront. Know for his eclectic guitar styles, Yazan joined Pile for a US tour in 2015. Following the tour, Yazan and Pile drummer Kris Kuss released Howlin’, a ragged blues record that jammed hard and caught the attention of Stereogum, Spin, High Times, and more, as well as a new loyal following of fans. Capitalizing on the chemistry that developed between him and Kuss, Yazan returned to Allston, MA over the course of two years to record together with Kuss and producer Mark Fede (Fat History Month, Guerilla Toss). The resulting album, Hahaha, is nine songs shedding light on some of Yazan’s most vulnerable and darkest feelings. Written during times of personal hardships and growth, Hahaha is a Yazan record unlike anything you’ve heard before.
Seeking answers in face of his family’s disintegration, his honest, open messages communicate his cultivation of harmony. The songs tell his story so far, a weaving of love, loss, and forgiveness. Put on the charmingly sleazy “Do You Wanna Go?” and your body will be rocking before you know it. Heed him on the plaintive ballad “When I’m Gone” and you might feel like singing your own songs to help you get through your sorrows. In “The Star” he summons his rage, challenging you and himself both to take back ownership of our world from profit-driven purveyors of war and waste. Yazan sings to himself reminders how to live in light even through darkness, sharing his songs with you so that they might also be helpful to you someday.
04/19 – Ashland, OR @ IPub
04/20 – Ashland, OR @ Oberon’s Tavern
04/21 – Seattle, WA @ Victory Lounge
04/23 – Salt Lake City, UT
04/24 – Denver, CO @ Horse House
04/25 – Omaha, NE @ House Show
04/26 – Minneapolis, MN @ Eagles #34
04/27 – Milwaukee, WI @ Puddler’s Hall
04/28 – Chicago, IL @ Smoker’s
04/29 – St Louis, MO @ Sinkhole
04/30 – Carbondale, IL @ The Swamp
05/02 – Louisville, KY @ Cure Lounge
05/03 – Kalamazoo, MI @ Louie’s Trophy House
05/04 – Buffalo, NY
05/05 – Burlington, VT @ Waking Windows Festival
05/06 – Burlington, VT @ Waking Windows Festival
05/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ Lava Space
05/10 – Brooklyn, NY
05/11 – Rollinsford, NH @ Sue’s Space
05/12 – New Paltz, NY @ Newpalsapalooza
06/09 – Peterborough, NH @ The Thing In The Spring Festival
photographer credit: Joel Barhamand