Love in Exile

Arooj Aftab / Vijay Iyer / Shahzad Ismaily

On Verve Records

Nominated for Two GRAMMYs
Best Alternative Jazz Album
Best Global Music Performance for “Shadow Forces”

Articles:

Overview:

Musicians Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, Shahzad Ismaily release their collaborative album, Love In Exile, today on Verve Records. Featuring the song “Shadow Forces,” the record is accompanied by a suite of visualizers created by Anum Awan. The trio will take Love In Exile on tour starting next week, with appearances at numerous venues and festivals including Big Ears Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, and the recently announced Newport Jazz Festival.

Love In Exile arose from a live performance between the three musicians in 2018, where each of them felt an almost otherworldly synchronicity in their talents, an experience Shahzad Ismaily described as “alchemic.” After half a decade of honing and refining this magic from that fateful show, the three musicians proudly share it with the world.

“Sometimes things just get left on the shelf, really beautiful things, because you don’t know where they fit,” Arooj Aftab shares of the process. “And so I’m glad we found where to fit the album, and I’m glad it’s coming out now.”

Praise for Love in Exile:

“The music is unanimous in its restraint. Iyer gradually forms rising, modal five-note patterns on piano. Ismaily leans into a drone that evolves from slow tolling to a throbbing pulse. And Aftab sings pensive, hovering phrases in Urdu. In the full nine-minute version, the music wafts up out of near-silence and sustained electronics; a three-minute excerpt gets to Aftab’s melodies, and a beat, much sooner.” (“To Remain/To Return”)

– The New York Times

“But really, there’s nothing else out there like this music, and you really need to give yourself over to it for its entire 72-minute running time and see how you feel when it’s over.”

– Stereogum

“A trio in striking harmony”  

– The Guardian

“Sonically meditative… from three brilliant collaborators” 

– NPR All Songs Considered

Credit: Ebru Yildiz

Visualizer Video for Shadow Forces

Visualizer videos by Anum Aman

Shadow Forces

Directed by Karishma Dev Dube