Leila M. & Tired of Triangles is a new musical concern representing not just a meeting of the minds — those of multidisciplinary artists Leila Mesdaghi and Dave Andrae — but also an intersecting and blending of distinct cultures and sensibilities. The duo, atypical for a band based in Florida, plays a form of rock music centered around the interplay of a Persian tanbur (a traditional stringed instrument with percussive qualities, played by Leila) and an Earthquaker Cloven Hoof-infused electric guitar (played by Dave). The songs so far have been oriented around repetitive interlocking riffs, with sparse lyrics softly spoken by Leila, and tasteful guitar overdubs bubbling to the surface. The music has a mantra-like quality but still retains a rock ’n’ roll edge that makes it sound best on cranked stereos.
“Intertwined Destines” b/w “Crimson Gold” is the first offering from Leila M. & Tired of Triangles and the flagship seven inch of the new imprint Kaji-Pup Records. This 45rpm slab of wax is a 1-2 punch that faithfully documents what the band is about. In terms of theme, the A side “Intertwined Destinies” stands in sharp contrast to the Trump-style xenophobia currently permeating certain pockets of the cultural landscape. The lyrics, “Intertwined destinies / Lives overlapping / Paths converging / People blending,” seem to locate strength and dignity in the diversity and mixture of cultures that America has, ideally at least, been built upon. Though born in the U.S., Leila spent over twenty years living in Iran, so at the end of the song when she uses Farsi to declare “They want to separate us / But they can’t,” her words carry a lot of conviction.
The more bass-heavy B side “Crimson Gold” is a tribute of sorts to the 2003 Jafar Panahi film of the same name. Written by the late Abbas Kiarostami, the film highlights class struggles as they’re felt by a blank-faced pizza delivery man, formerly a soldier. The man takes severe umbrage when an upscale jewelry store owner whose store he and his wife visit isn’t impressed with their appearance enough to show them his more valuable merchandise. Along with several less than favorable encounters with various customers over a night of deliveries, this perceived slight drives the pizza delivery man over the edge. The song “Crimson Gold,” like the movie it’s based on, doesn't put forth an endorsement or justification of the protagonist’s actions, but rather should be appreciated for conjuring up a mood and emotional framework that helps put one in the main character’s shoes. The music consists of a slightly warbly relationship between Leila’s tanbur, Dave’s detuned electric guitar, and the Bond film-like trebly overdubs, creating an atmosphere of tension and slight disorientation. As the song progresses we hear what sound like bolts of lightning falling down, and toward the end, the staccato sound of rain moves right to left across the stereo field. Just as the instruments stop, we hear Leila’s stomach grumbling, and Dave — not one to take things too seriously — decides to crack a joke, causing Leila to laugh uncontrollably. It's as good of a note as any with which to conclude this, Leila M. & Tired of Triangles' debut collaboration.
We here at Kaji-Pup Records are excited about this release and hope that, once you hear it, you will be too.
released August 17, 2017
Leila Mesdaghi - Tanbur, Lead Vocals, Good Vibes
Dave Andrae - Electric Guitar, Back-up Vocals, Doggo Memes
Recorded and mixed by Dave.
Mastered (for digital and analog) by Chris Goosman at Baseline Audio Labs.