Songs from the Vault
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Love is a mystical and unpredictable force. It can feel like a dream, a promise, a prayer… Breathe You In paints the picture of what love might be possible between two people, but that has yet to fully manifest. It is a song about that love which has yet to make a home for itself, curiously wandering the space between two lovers like a nomad. The warmth of the instrumentation feels like the long embrace before one says goodbye, the lyrics tell the story of the one that is left behind. The song was crafted and recorded in 2014 and is finally taking flight from my vault of secret, sacred songs.
I had a really bad breakup when I was 28 that ended a really painful relationship. It needed to happen because my soul was getting crushed under the weight of the other person’s addictions and anger, and I was losing myself in my codependence. The relationship had become a mess, the breakup was vitriolic, and it took a really long time to purge the person out of my body and my spirit. But you know, we do sometimes like to suffer more don’t we? After a few months, I went back a couple more times just to, you know, make sure he knew I was really serious… When I’m Tired is the song that I sang to myself after I decided I didn’t want to do that anymore. I wanted to be all done, but I still had these icky craving wanting feelings so I sang about them instead of acting out. It worked really well! I hope this song can be that thing that replaces a person’s urge to go back to a toxic, abusive relationship.
Breaking up is a journey. In some cases, like the one that prompted me to write this song, it is a series of strengthening exercises followed by moments of humiliating desperation.
I had a really bad breakup when I was 28 that ended a really painful relationship. We had been broken up for a few months. It was an explosive, brutal experience to break free from the relationship, and staying broken up was just as hard at first. Some exes you just should not text. Period. Ever again. One night, after faltering in my resolve more than a couple times I got serious about it and picked up my guitar instead of the phone and wrote this song. It was my ultimate gift to myself - “When I’m Tired” is the story of the post-break-up struggle. So whenever I sang it, I could go through the journey and remind myself exactly how the story ends. Plus, singing my songs would always be more fulfilling to me than a sad hookup with my not-so-nice ex. May this song reach your ears whenever you need to remember NOT to pick up the phone and text your ex.
It Takes More is a little bit like a handbook for life. I wrote this song back in 2010, and though I was very young and couldn’t anticipate the turmoil and the triumphs that would unfold for me in the coming years, some all-knowing voice pierced through the mystery and told the truth of how life is. There are so many lines in this song that I have tattooed on my heart to pull me through hard times, to give me strength. “If you want high, why you looking low? There’s room for you in all of the places you wanna go.” The song is all about asking more of ourselves, to dig deeper to the essence of who we are and live more and more from that place. It asks us to see more clearly, not to get pulled down too far by the trickiness of being a human. The song and it’s lyrics are all about having faith, reaching out beyond the heaviness of life and trusting that if we keep our heads up, we will find that love that’s always there waiting for us. “Shine a little bit brighter, let your load be a little bit lighter. It takes more. Sing a little bit clearer, keep love a little bit nearer… It takes more.”
This song/confessional was written and recorded in 2010 by a much younger version of myself. I was, as many of us are, crushed under the weight of toxic beauty standards, perfectionism and an intolerance of my own perceived weaknesses and the song is how I cried out for a lifeline. In the studio, I allowed my heart to ache loudly through a soaring growl as I sang “I am beautiful, I’ll sing it until I believe it…” The rawness of the performance and the shamelessness of the lyrics came from a place of real clarity and power inside myself that scared me back then. It was like ripping the most tortured page out of my journal and making copies to share with people. I was intimidated by my own vulnerability and overwhelmed by the depth of my feelings, so I kept the song locked up in a vault for many years and never shared it with anyone. I forgot about it entirely. Then last year, my engineer/manager at the time sent it back to me saying “remember this?” and my heart tore open again, this time from a position of much hard-won self-love. After over a decade, I am releasing this song into the world, hoping that someone else may feel relief and catharsis listening back to the wisdom of my younger self.
“Leili Lullaby (When I Was A Bird)”
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“Love You Without Fear”
Love You Without Fear is a collection of songs from different recording sessions and concerts between the years of 2015-2018. It was 10 years since I released A New Life, and I was beginning to explore Iranian music and I knew I needed to get some songs out into the world. The inspiration for this EP was a feeling of trust in the Love that guides me, a calling to bring my ancestors into the present with me and the need to a bold step forward into the new self that I was becoming at the time.
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“A New Life”
A New Life was recorded between 2006-2008 when I was fresh out of college, and back in the States after a 5 month trip to India where I was traveling, seeking and singing. The songs on this album tell my story of holding onto a Love that is greater than me while breaking through depression, the confines of the past, and the fear of facing the vast unknown of the life that stood ahead of me. The producer, Phil Ludwig, and I tried to create a rich tapestry of sounds that showcased the many styles of music that influenced us, and evoked themes of jazz, pop, bluegrass, Indian Classical, reggae, and the Blues all together in this one album.