sandmoon is a Beirut indie pop/folk group led by singer, pianist, and ukulele player Sandra Arslanian. Singing in English and having specific ties to Belgium and Armenia, Arslanian takes inspiration from various music genres around the world and sings in a strong, proud voice backed by minimal instrumentation. She reminds me of Cat Power and “The Man Who Sold The World” Bowie, with a mystic sort of groove that stays with you long after the songs are over.
The group’s third release, the five-track EP #InTheEnd, is out now. Listen to the EP now on Spotify.
Beirut’s Mayssa Jallad and Elie Abdelnour play indie Folk-Pop that wouldn’t sound out of place in Brooklyn. If you’re sick of Brooklyn indie Folk-Pop (like I am), have no fear; Abdelnour’s jazz guitar and the tiny electronic touches keep “Cake” from being just another delightful and forgettable B-side to the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack. Bonus points to Safar for being trilingual and having an actual sense of melody.
Aynama-Rtama is the self-produced debut album from Alif, an avant-garde five-piece from Beirut that offers a taste of Arab independent music. The lyrics are from a poem by the late Iraqi-Assyrian poet and writer Sargon Boulus. Check out the band, read some good poetry, and enjoy the sound of modern Middle East music.