Garaseen is an Arabic indie electro-pop duo from Amman, Jordan. They formed in 2015, then known as Les Garçons, playing some small shows around Amman. This year, they had their debut EP launch concert, a sonic exhibition at the Jordan Gallery of Fine Arts' Festival, which was also a fundraiser for Gaza. They have played various venues and nightclubs in Amman.
They cite cinema, philosophy, literature and music as the biggest inspirations. Their choice of thinkers, from Jacques Derrida to Edward Said and Michel Foucault, show that these boys from Amman are not your average lads, but some serious intellectual thinkers. Musically, they are jazzed by MGMT, Gorillaz, Atoms For Peace and Tame Impala. Cinematically, they get into Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson.
They recently released their debut EP, Garaseen, available on Anghami. It was recorded, arranged and produced by one half of the duo, Najruz Ajlouni, in his basement, where he "created a make-shift studio in one of the rooms, which became our daily hang-out spot. The space helped us become more creative, given that we had the privilege to play and record anything, anytime we wanted - it also gave the recordings a greater value, for us at least, because they were done in a friendly/cozy setting." The sound of the EP emphasizes analog synths, electronic drum beats and "booming 808 bass." They also used guitar, samples, and even brass and a string quartet. The result is dreamy, catchy, but not overly simple Arabic synth pop. It is dynamic, with unique vocal elements, gossamer synths, and catchy hooks.
Along with the EP, they have released a music video for one of the songs, "Law Fina Khair." It shows a man and his little girl, and though cheerful, represents a much more sad story: the son's loss of a father. It is, in fact, a tribute to singer/songwriter Mohammad Idreesi's father. As a post on his Facebook page reads: "3 years ago, my father passed away unexpectedly. It shocked and devastated us all. The night he died, he had a massive heart attack while driving. I am grateful he didn't suffer. Also, grateful I was with him in the car and got to say goodbye. Although my father is no longer physically present in my life, I still feel his impact every day. I dedicate this to the memory of my father, the origin of my success." The video is heartening, and the music is at once uplifting and nostalgic.
Take a listen to the refreshing synth-pop goodness of Garaseen. They're certainly a regional group to keep an eye on.
Listen to the full EP on Anghami.