Excerpt from 4/11/22 PRESS RELEASE:
FALLS CHURCH, VA:
Alternative rock band Koshari, releases a long-awaited and emotionally-charged concept album. The band has written this specific collection of songs about superheroes and villains, capturing the political struggle many have witnessed over the last few years, and crafted the tracks to fill you with passion and empathy . The album’s 9 riveting songs are being released solely on vinyl and digital on BandCamp at this time. A release celebration will be held in the DC area with date and venue TBD (Covid-permitting).
Barbara Western, vocalist and songwriter for Koshari, toiled over lyrics to hit on elements that describe the unique aspects of attaining power and the implications of that power -- all while rolling in elements of what has been crashing all around the world politically over the last several years.
Western spoke of the lyrical writing process, “writing lyrics during this tumultuous time allowed me to vent some deep emotions about the current villains I see in the world today.” “It isn’t about good vs. evil, but about how one chooses to use power.”
The songs are melodic, driving, and filled with layers of sonic textures, reflecting the signature style of guitarist and songwriter Bryan Baxter. With this record, Baxter produces lush, spiraling soundscapes of noise throughout intricately-woven tunes, and Western’s powerful, lustrous vocals wind throughout, both above and below the surface.
“Everyone worked really hard to capture themes for this release. It was really wonderful to work with J. Robbins on recording and mixing as he shared our vision for the music,“ Baxter said.
Bass player David Gassmann adds, “We started recording this album with the most obstacles and ended with the least. It is by far our best recording ever.”
Drummer Brian Moran says, “Hearing the final versions of the songs was so gratifying. We all brought our best efforts both individually and as a group.” Moran performed on 8 of 9 tracks. (Harry Glee Evans performed on Track 4, The Phoenix.)
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from - Mocovox.com
The Fillmore managed to keep the lights on and the amps blasting at the Local Rock Series concert on June 29, despite a severe thunderstorm raging outside that knocked out power to more than 1 million people around the D.C. Metro area.
The inclement weather may have lowered overall attendance, but those patrons that did show enjoyed the eclectic lineup of The Grey Area, Koshari, New Day Dawn and The Knolly Moles; all for less than the price of your average movie theater ticket.
"This was one of the best sound systems we’ve ever played,” said Koshari’s youngest member and bassist, David Gassmann, 25. He likened the band’s sound to “shoegaze” – a genre of rock featuring a lot of special effects and reverb – “but with some muscle, and not quite as drifty.”
Guitarist and Koshari co-founder Bryan Baxter said he likes to refer to the band’s music as “stadium indie,” although he said he’s also heard it called “nightmare pop.” Koshari, Baxter said, is the name of a Hopi Indian spirit known as a Kachina.
“We’re dark and heavy, but if you really broke it down, there’s pretty stuff in there. It’s sad, but hopeful,” he explained.
His wife, Barbara Western, sings for the band. The pair met at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. in 1996. Bryan was playing an eight-string bass back then and decided to pick up an old, hand-painted guitar that he found in the corner of Wester’s room and began testing out different tunings. He admitted, “if you asked me to play someone else’s songs, I couldn’t.”
Western, a former journalism major, handles most of the songwriting and said she tries to write in a “semi-poetic, impressionist-like style.” Bryan’s favorite song off their last album, “Light in Dark Places,” is titled “Blue” and refers to their (then) three-year old daughter.
OUT NOW!! The Deep Divide 2022
Embers - 2017
Light in Dark Places - 2012
Into Shreds/Just in Time - 2014
Reappear - 2009
Koshari Draws Eyes & Ears with “Claws”
By Emma Page
D.C.’s own Koshari, a band that blurs the lines between shoegaze, alt-rock, noise, and indie-pop, released their fifth full-length album The Deep Divide on April 28. Recently, on May 19, they added a supporting lyric video for an engaging track on the album, “Claws”.
“The band has written this specific collection of songs about superheroes and villains, capturing the political struggle many have witnessed over the last few years, and crafted the tracks to fill you with passion and empathy,” it describes, and “Claws” is no exception.
This track captures the pain of unfamiliarity with oneself, and lyrics like “What’s that I see?” and “I don’t see you but I don’t see me” are very fitting against the video’s background, shifting color-changing images of an eye; often the lyrics fit directly in its dark pupil, drawing listeners into their words.
The song emulates guitarist and songwriter Bryan Baxter’s wish for the songs on the album to be “spiraling soundscapes of noise.” Its strong guitar and percussion, as well as gritty vocals from Barbara Western, make this track hard to forget.
Watch the video here, and find more new music on our Alchemical Multigenre Mixdown Playlist on YouTube.
6/2/22 Alchemical Records
Disenchanted - 2001
PopMatters Review of 'Reappear' 8/09
On their second album, Reappear, Washington DC’s Koshari manages to simultaneously evoke the sound of the shoegazer movement of the early 1990’s and establish themselves as an original voice. There are a number of stylistically familiar elements present here – the reverb-heavy, droning guitar sound periodically enlivened by phasers or tremolos, or Barbara Western’s indecipherable vocals, mixed louder and performed more forcefully than one might expect, but still strangely elusive.
They are far from a simple nostalgia act, however. Koshari incorporates enough distinctive elements to distinguish themselves from some of the modern bands mining similar territory, like the trippily lo-fi and excruciatingly named The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, or the fuzzed-out grunge of Silversun Pickups. First is the presence of a number of songs performed in waltz time – a simple tactic that introduces some variety and reveals a greater degree of musicianship and forethought than one often finds in a subgenre noted for using effects and volume to mask technical ineptitude. In fact, the rhythmic component is one of the greatest strengths of Reappear. Even on songs in more conventional meters, the drumming has a lighter, jazzier touch than the dancefloor-inspired percussion commonly associated with this style of music. The overall effect of such a style gives what might ordinarily be the most stable element of these songs a freewheeling, unpredictable feel that complements the spacey guitars and vocals.
Unfortunately, Koshari does not avoid all of the problems endemic to shoegazing. Records in this tradition tends to get a little repetitive – even the masterful Loveless, the album that sold a thousand pedals, can engender fatigue in listeners reaching a saturation point for dense, distorted guitars and hallucinatory effects. Koshari are at their best when they push themselves away from a template sound, as on the tricky uptempo track “Etched in the Head”, or when they pursue a particular element to its logical extreme, like the unaccompanied feedback coda on “New Song (Barcelona Song)” or the slow, cough-syrup vibe of “Cloaked and Draped.” Of particular note is the penultimate track, the eight-and-a-half minute “Seep In”, which is characterized by a heavy and beguiling instrumental interlude that begins to evoke stoner metal bands like Kyuss. Koshari also recognizes the importance of melody; every track has at least one immediate hook that identifies it as an actual song rather than three to six minutes of vibe or atmosphere.
Koshari might not be the most innovative band ever to commit songs to tape – even at their most unique and interesting, they are clearly operating within the tradition established by bands like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Ride. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though. A sense of tradition and reverence does not preclude the possibility of a band producing new, worthwhile songs in the same vein as its predecessors, and Koshari are as effective an example of this as anyone is likely to find. As long as My Bloody Valentine remains famous for never releasing any new material, fans would do well to check out Koshari. - PopMatters
- The Sound Project 2012
Koshari are a four-piece alternative rock band from Washington DC who have just released their third album 'Light in Dark Places'.
The album itself definitely has a bit of a shoegaze feel about it as much as it has of an indie-rock feel. Opener 'Same Today' has a PJ Harvey feel about it and not just in Barbara Western's vocals. The guitars are reminiscent of Harvey's earlier days. On 'Stay' Western's vocals draw similarities with those of a moody Chrissie Hynde.
The album's centre-piece is the seven-minute, 'Blue', which builds to an almost-thrashy end. There's moments when it's like early Yeah Yeah Yeahs, before they became watered down for the commercial market. At other its sounds like Low, building up for that huge finale. It's excellent stuff.
The excellent 'Ditty' is set around eerie vocals and simple guitars. It proves they can do the gentler elements of rock as well as the bolder ones. Guitars are a-plenty on both 'Ever After' and 'Easy Stumbling', as the album builds up for the magnificent 'The Dazzling Lies', where once again the band draw similarities with Low. But for all it's influences, some more obvious than others, this really is a record that stands out from the rest.
Quote: "They are taking the genre a step further in their smoother spin on industrial rock."
Floating away to dreamland and beyond, you usually imagine the soundtrack being something classical, not a band that lists Tool as one of their influences. Here we have Koshari’s take on that sort of industrial rock, which is soft enough to lull you away, yet edgy enough to be modern.
Music fans will hear something very different than the average “rock” album in Unless. Something that is almost soothing. Barbara Western’s soft voice slides effortlessly over the tracks. Although all members are from the US, Western’s voice has a hint of Sinead O’Connor’s sweet, powerful sound. She leads many of the tracks, stealing the focus away from the music.
The lyrics of “Waiting, Chasing, Tracing, Waiting” are so touching that they deserve to be heard. It’s great poetry to read, but would be elegant in music.
Still, Koshari are a group of talented musicians. While they have a number of influences listed in their biography, they don’t try to achieve something that has already been done 100 times over. They are taking the genre a step further in their smoother spin on industrial rock.
I hope that another Koshari album falls into my mailbox shortly, because this seems like the type of band who can go anywhere with their sound. They prove it with the softness of “Under A Mistake” and the heavy ripping guitars in “Pierce.” The rest of the musical world is just a short trip away.
- Indie-music.com - Stephanie Joudrey