FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Just in Time for Yom Kippur: A Conscious Rock Take on Iraqi Selihoth
On Sept 15, Iraqis in Pajamas releases their fourth album, Stripped Bare, a vocals-and-bass solo album combining original lyrics and music with Iraqi prayers of supplication and yearning.
Seattle, WA – Iraqis in Pajamas songs are built on the lyrics, melody, and bass line created by front woman Loolwa Khazzoom. The band’s new album is “stripped bare,” bringing listeners into the heart of the band’s musical creation process, with five songs featuring Khazzoom solo on vocals and bass. Each song on this album combines original music and lyrics with sacred Iraqi Jewish chants – including Ahoth Qetana, a High Holidays favorite among Middle Eastern and North African Jews. Sung in English, Hebrew, and Judeo-Arabic, the songs on this album are deeply honest, vulnerable, and powerful – taking an intimate and unflinching look at the painful impact of domestic violence, abandonment, pornography, and mental illness.
The album was recorded live at Bard Rock Studios, and it features photography by Moriel O’Conner and graphic design by Quentin Lightner – all local to Seattle. Album preview here.
Loolwa is a force of nature. It’s no surprise to us that…her courageous heart expresses itself so eloquently in the hurricane of her gritty music. – Deva Premal & Miten, Billboard chart-topping musicians
Loolwa Khazzoom is a brilliant lyricist and a dedicated artist, with the ability to teach through her art. Loolwa and her band, Iraqis in Pajamas, bring deeply personal truth through song and lyric and make us think through our own human reaction, through their profound and often cathartic performances. We need more of this! We need more art that makes us think in this turbulent world. Loolwa is the pearl in the oyster of a nation in great need of more awareness and enlightened thinking. – Lara Lavi,Grammy Award-winning musician
Hearing Loolwa Khazzoom live is like being struck by a thunderbolt. Her music will crack you open and get under your skin in the best way. Her lyrics are raw and visceral, combining prayer with deeply personal truth…Her music will have you reevaluating what it means to be human. It’s both ancient and modern— holding a startling tension between the sacred and the beautiful chaos of being alive. – Katie Rudman, event producer
Iraqis in Pajamas! Their live performance emotes an unencumbered power of grief, rage, and delight thru song and storytelling, power chords and a capella nusach (Jewish melodic chants). Hear them, and you will know the pulse of modernity entangled with centuries-past. – Stefanie Brendler, event producer
About Iraqis in Pajamas
In turn vulnerable and angry, haunting and inspiring, Seattle-area band Iraqis in Pajamas (IraqisInPajamas.com) disarms audiences, opening them to deep contemplation about trauma, healing, and transformation. With songs in English, Judeo-Arabic, and Hebrew, the band has a unique sound – an innovative blend of ancient Iraqi Jewish prayers, alternative rock, and personal storytelling about topics as varied as cancer, domestic violence, racism, mental illness, street harassment, family caregiving, and national exile.
Khazzoom has had a meandering career as an educator, writer, health coach, and more, all with the central organizing principle of individual and collective healing. Her work has been featured in top media including The New York Times and Rolling Stone; she has presented at leading venues including Harvard University and the Simon Wiesenthal Center; and she has published two books, taught throughout the Ivy League and at universities nationwide – The Flying Camel: Essays on Identity by Women of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Heritage and Consequence: Beyond Resisting Rape. Ultimately ditching her power suit and power point in favor of combat boots and cat glasses, Khazzoom now offers bold songwriting as the catalyst for deep and heart-centered conversation.