I can’t quite put into words what Atigheh makes me feel. The opening vocals is like a call to home, pulling at something in the core of me. It asks me to be still, to listen. It asks me if it’s possible to be homesick for a place you never knew.
Atigheh (out now on Bandcamp) is the third EP by Zahra Haji Fath Ali Tehrani, entirely self-produced and independently released. Performing as her solo project Despicable Zee, Zahra is an Oxford-based musician and composer specialising in leftfield, electronic lo-fi-pop. She’s been creating music for over 15 years, and also drums for acts such as Lafawndah and Young Knives on their UK and European tours. Her latest project is a music video for Clay Grouk, the fourth track of the EP, which I had the pleasure of previewing – and it hasn’t left my mind since.
Atigheh is a story of the in-between. The lyrics guide you through Zahra’s experience as a second generation immigrant; her father is from Iran and her mother is from Ireland. The songs explore the search we go through as immigrants to meld two identities into one body. But identity is never binary. In each person, it exists as an amalgamation of environments, influences, and experiences… yet there’s an unspoken feeling shared by all of us who walk this tightrope. We perform a balancing act between different cultures, never fully able to embody either, which invokes a constant longing to belong.
Iconic live music venue. One of the UK's most celebrated underground clubs.