Live Music

A-WA Is A+

Music editor Meera Dugal digs on the sisters of A-WA and their upcoming Yemeni-Israeli dance party at Greenpoint’s Brooklyn Bazaar.

Photo by Tristan Fopma

Melodic lady trios are once again on the rise, I’m noticing. Like the rocking sisters of Haim, Argentina’s pop-folkers Femina, and indie darlings Mountain Man (featuring Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso), A-WA is a phenomenally exciting new trifecta on the scene with harmonizing vocals that are as angelic as they are darkly bewitching.

Drawing on the ancient tradition of Yemenite women’s chanting, these Israeli sisters—who have Yemini-Jewish roots—have dressed beautiful folk songs in ridiculously catchy, synth-y, electronic new clothes. And their sound is driving people wild with excitement. Their debut album, Habib Galbi, produced by Balkan Beat Box’s Tomer Yosef, features high-tempo tunes but also these sublime, hypnotic a cappella tracks, including “Yemenite Lullaby,” which sounds like a goddess-invoking chant. In one of the coolest music videos I’ve ever seen, the ladies don hot pink abayas and break-dance in the southern Israel desert to their title track. There’s a distinctly Middle Eastern pulse to the music that feels like it wouldn’t be out of place at a wedding in Yemen, but then you get these fresh electronic sounds that bring it straight to 2017 and perfect for a place like Brooklyn Bazaar.

Why You Should Go: These are the girls everyone wants to be. If I had any musical talent, this is what my band would sound like. Plus, what the world needs now is a Yemeni-Israeli dance party.

PopGun Presents: A-WA
Brooklyn Bazaar
150 Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint
Saturday, June 17
8 p.m.

Make it a perfect night with this custom-made itinerary: