Hailing from San Francisco, composer and general badass Leila Abdul-Rauf has been making and performing music, namely metal, for nearly her entire life. Her previous endeavors in the metal scene include the bands Saros and The Bastard Noise, and she remains active in Hammers of Misfortune, Vastum, and Ionophore. While she is most widely known for her vocals, she is a true multi-instrumentalist, honing her abilities on the guitar, trumpet, piano, and synth, just to name a few.
But her latest solo album, Insomnia, is unlike her past work. She foregoes her signature doom metal sound and instead opts for something more cerebral. There are no vocals, save for some haunting, ethereal wailing. Instead, the listener can relax and focus on the weaving of brass, piano for an unsettling, otherworldly sound. It vaguely resembles Ionophore’s latest album Sinister Pools, or something Godspeed You! Black Emperor might think up after a handful of benzos. Drawing parallels between Insomnia and anything else proves difficult because Abdul-Rauf has created something poignant, introspective, and uniquely brilliant – an atmosphere all her own. It’s something personal and gorgeous without being pretentious. Definitely worth a listen.
During Hopscotch, catch Leila Abdul-Rauf with Nathan A. Verrill at 11 PM on September 10th in Nash Hall.
Listen to Insomnia HERE.
-DJ Case Sensitive