Soho Rezanejad
Perform and Surrender



Copenhagen. Vienna. Helsingør. Munich. Montreal. Toronto. St Petersburg. Tromsø. Nantes. In the halcyon days of 2018 and 2019, New York-born, Copenhagen-born polymath Soho Rezanejad toured the globe’s coldest cultural capitals off the back of her crystalline debut Six Archetypes. On tour, she would spend the day composing short but vivid pieces, vocalising musical ideas that soaked up the atmosphere and feel of these bold new environments. The results of her toils smatter Perform and Surrender, her latest album, which was heavily conceptualised on the road and completed recently in Copenhagen.

Shaped by her travels and the passing of a loved one, Perform and Surrendersees Rezanejad embrace a far more abstract sound. Throughout her career, she has dabbled in many different media: on her fantastic 2018 debut, she combined synth-laden pop ambience with glassy vocals that echoed Nico, whilst the two-part Honesty Without Compassion is Brutalitysaw her tamper more and more with translucent samples.Perform and Surrenderfits more closely with the latter, as Rezanejad delves further into an increasingly intangible world.

It is an introverted work that is constantly toying with space and time. Opener ‘Perform’ is a deeply claustrophobic number, as synthesiser glitches take a battering from the sound of a cold hibernal gust. Rather than being the album in microcosm, however, outside of this abrasive opening, Perform and Surrenderis characterised by a certain endlessness; eons of space that stretch out eternally.

‘Surrender’ is a glacial sound collage that melds echoing drones with piano lullabies, birdsong and vocal cut-ups over 12 dizzying minutes. Rezanejad’s voice becomes a clouded layer that abdicates clarity rather than grants it. And rather than inviting you into her art, the creator keeps you always at a social distance.

Meanwhile, ‘Half the Shore’ is the album’s clear high water mark. It pairs Rezanejad’s croon with a plucked stargazing guitar that jovially nods to Slowdive’s Pygmalion. Slow and dreamlike, it evokes the feeling of loneliness in an unfamiliar city as it winds and peaks and troughs.

Throughout the album, Rezanejad’s voice is a point of intrigue. Where her early works are characterised by stark lyrical performances, the voice frequently becomes another layer here, a low-focus filter. The results are in no way diminished by this blur, though, and from the paranoid beginning to the elegiac and operatic curtain call ‘Sleepless Solitude’, Perform and Surrendershowcases many sides of Soho Rezanejad, all of them deeply compelling.