AZAM ALI Invokes Cocteau Twins with “Shallow Then Halo” Cover. PHANTOMS out TOMORROW Sept. 13th!

Invokes Cocteau Twins
Premiering Cover of
“Shallow Then Halo” on Post-Punk.com 

New Album PHANTOMS Out TOMORROW September 13, 2019

Pre-Save link:  https://onerpm.lnk.to/phantoms

photo credit: Borna Jafari
Embracing the sleek menacing beats and anxious ethereal vocals, while adding her own icy cinematic veil, internationally beloved singer-songwriter/producer Azam Ali has just released the video for her cover of Cocteau Twins‘ “Shallow Then Halo” via Post-Punk.com. The track is her third single from upcoming album Phantoms (Out TOMORROW FridaySeptember 13th via Terrestrial Lane Productions).

The live video was shot during her recent show at DROM in New York City. Glowing with the boreal lights and cold mist of the stage, Azam, backed by Loga Ramin Torkian on the GuitarViol and Gabriel Ethier on synthesizer, resolutely introduces the biting electric rhythm while seamlessly layering on the fluid and chilling vocals.

“As my album began to take shape, I realized I was subconsciously tapping into so much of the music from the ’80s and ’90s that had inspired my musical journey,” reflects Azam on her decision to cover Cocteau Twins. “My reason for wanting to cover a CT song was out of sheer love for their music, the influence they had on my life and art, and a desire to pay tribute to artists who had shown me the profound potential of music to reach sublime depths. So it is from this place of reverence that I attempted not to cover the song per say, but to sing and produce it as if it were a part of me and my personal expression. I truly internalized it and made it my own. I also particularly chose one of their less popular songs as a silent nod to other hardcore CT fans.”

Azam Ali “Shallow Then Halo”


“The concept behind the album, in essence, is about how we develop multidimensional selves, a series of personas if you will, that enable us to navigate in a multidimensional universe and how we learn to move between them very fluidly. Over time, these personas become like ghosts that live within us… like phantoms.”
“Tackling a Cocteau Twins song is regarded by many to be either very brave or very foolhardy. I know there haven’t been many covers attempted of our songs that’s for sure, but any really great cover version of any song needs to shine a new light upon it. The original was written before my time, so I may not be the best to judge, but Azam Ali ticks all the boxes for me. Its greatest achievement is that it doesn’t even sound like a cover version. Brilliant music!” – SIMON RAYMONDE (Cocteau Twins)
Like the concept behind the album, Azam herself embodies this amalgamate nature. A singer, songwriter, producer, and sound sculptor, this transcontinental sonic architect crafts darkly alluring songs built around electronic textures and rhythms. Recalling the majestic tapestries of 90s-era 4AD Records (Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, The Pixies) but with modern flourishes woven into its threads, Azam weaves electronic songs that are timeless in nature but retro-futuristic in construction. From the pulsating opening track and first single “Hope”, dashes of electronic color (a la Massive Attack and Portishead) envelop Azam’s velvety vocals. The aural gyrations of “The Twilight Sheds” hearkens midnight dance floors at long-gone clubs like LimelightThe BankClub Scream. Ode To Melancholy” imbues a sense of longing and sadness that is hard to shake, and the title track “Phantoms” is an expansive and earthy downtempo contemplation, brimming with hesitant industrial percussion.

Her first album sung completely in English, the multicultural artist (born in Tehran, lived in India till she was four, and then came to America in 1985 after the Iranian revolution of 1979) studied music from a global perspective, soaking up the sounds and traditions from the Middle East, India, U.S., and Eastern Europe, among many other regions. “I have sung many songs in English over the years, but this is the first album I have sung entirely in English,” she explains. “I waited this long to do an entirely English album because I wanted to be sure that I was doing it for the right artistic reasons, and that the production would be on a par with those of my musical idols who have inspired me.”

Azam’s career began in the chart-topping and ground-breaking international world electronic/ acoustic group Niyaz. As a solo artist, Azam has received two Canadian JUNO Award nominations and one HMMA (Hollywood Music in Media Award) for her bold artistry. She has collaborated either in-studio or on stage with Serj Tankian of System of a DownPeter Murphy of BauhausThe Crystal MethodMickey Hart, among many others. She’s contributed to film and television soundtracks including Thor-The Dark WorldMatrix- Revolutions300The Fight ClubDawn of the DeadTrue BloodAliasThe Agencyand Prison Break. And she is also a well-known musical force in the videogame world contributing to games like Uncharted 3Call of DutyPrince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, and Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow for which she won “Best Original Song” at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards in 2007.

Track Listing

1. Hope
2. Phantoms
3. The Blue
4. Tender Violet
5. Twilight Sheds
6. Ode to Melancholy
7. Shallow Then Halo (Cocteau Twins cover)
8. Scattered Stars
9. Love Is a Labyrinth

With Phantoms, Azam Ali found herself unconsciously invoking the spectres of her past. “It was during that period of my youth that I first became infatuated with technology and its immense power as both a destructive and creative tool. Before Phantoms, I’ve shared a lot of intimate emotions, but it’s been a long time since I have been this vulnerable. It’s truly liberating.”

Phantoms will be released on September 13, 2019 via Terrestrial Lane Productions. It was composed, recorded and produced by Azam Ali and mixed  by Grammy-nominated engineer Michael Patterson (Beck, Notorious B.I.G., Atticus Ross, NIN, The Social Network soundtrack).


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