Thursday June 20th, 2024
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Nomad Ben Stone's 'Sohan' is a Saharan-Inspired Post-Rock Odyssey

The album explores themes of discovery, identity confrontation, and self-assertion.

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Nomad Ben Stone's 'Sohan' is a Saharan-Inspired Post-Rock Odyssey

Nomad Ben Stones, a collective based in different parts of the MENA region, unveils their sophomore record titled ‘Sohan’. The album explores themes of discovery, identity confrontation, and self-assertion, which are executed cohesively through a concise and sequenced tracklist. These themes materialise themselves with soft-rock, desert and post-rock aesthetics, alongside orchestral arrangements.

The piano-led intro provides a soothing and serene backdrop for the album to unfold. Serene vocals, accompanied by underlying guitar licks, along with ambient elements, add depth to the soundscape. Bedouin percussion contributes to a sweet mix as the song progresses to reach its climax towards its end with all the instruments coming together, along with chanting backing vocals, beautifully piecing out the track. The next track, ‘Rjaya (Surrender)’, features piano-driven instrumentation.

The vocals are highlighted in the mix; introspective lyrics are sung peacefully over serene instrumentation. As the track progresses, it unveils more layers, following the same structure as its predecessor but returning to its starting point towards the end. ‘La Robe’ features heavy violin strings and orchestral-like arrangements layered with purely rock instruments. Tracks like ‘Plein Temps Arabe’ serve as powerful pieces with perfectly structured epic arrangements as a backdrop. A spoken word monologue of Mahmoud Darwish’s Arabic poem, “Lonely, I defend the air that’s not mine,” accompanies this track, deriving multiple post-rock instrumentations with complicated arrangements led by guitar, violin, and rapid drums. The spoken-word by the Palestinian poet resonates deeply, reaching a climax toward the end of the track before descending peacefully. The following track, ‘Deux Palmiers’, takes a more instrumental-focused direction with sweet violin chords placed amidst a predominantly electronic soundscape.

The six-track album tells a story of conquering one’s dreams, chasing the unknown, exploring eternity, and reaching for the stars. The space-inspired theme makes for a compelling narrative, perfectly complemented through the instrumentation. The album encapsulates a thematic exploration centred on self-discovery, identity, and the pursuit of aspirations.

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