Khruangbin Returns With 'Maria Tambien,' Celebrating Iran's Lost Female Artists

Nov 2, 2017

Between 1925 and 1979, Iranian women gained significant rights: access to education and employment, no requirement to wear a veil, the freedom to petition for divorce and child custody, and the rights to vote and to run for public office. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 established a theocracy that largely removed women from public life, both in government and the entertainment industry. Since then, women in the country have fought to try and regain the rights they lost, with many joining grassroots activist movements like the One Million Signatures campaign and pushing for parliamentary candidates who favor restoring women's liberty.

Khruangbin, a trio from Texas that commingles Middle Eastern and African influences, '70s funk and Texas soul, celebrates the relative freedom Iranian women had before the revolution with its newest video (which also serves as the announcement of Khruangbin's new record, Con Todo El Mundo, expected January 26, 2018).

The video begins with the sound of news anchors describing Persia "moving up in the world," Tehran "leaning more West than East," and miniskirts bringing "a new freedom of expression." Clips of female artists, singers, and dancers exiled or silenced since revolution are montaged together — then, with the push of a button by a man in a control room, the performers vanish, leaving an empty stage.

The video, much like Khruangbin's music as a whole, simultaneously takes you back in time and roots you in the present, a time capsule that reflects on successes of the past and challenges of the future, to the tune of a band whose worldliness feels amorous, grounded and optimistic.

Khruangbin will release Con Todo El Mundo on January 26, 2018 through Dead Oceans.

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