King Raam is the solo recording project of Raam, a Tehran-based musician, who started his career as the founder and singer/songwriter of Hypernova, a band that along with contemporaries Yellow Dogs were at the forefront of an Iranian rock movement. And much like Yellow Dogs, which was formed back in the early 2000s in Tehran’s underground music scene, the members of Hypernova eventually relocated to New York, in order to safely pursue their interest in music. The band received some modest success and attention and after some time, Raam decided that it was time to go solo.
After spending several years shuttling between New York, London and Los Angeles, Raam returned to Iran to record his new album. An increasingly progressive society, led by a young, educated and somewhat Western-influenced generation has quickly ushered a new era of creativity that has allowed artists the opportunity to express themselves much more freely in a country where just a few short years ago, being artistically creative was considered a crime punishable by jail — or worse, death. Personally speaking, as Westerners, we should never take for granted our ability to express ourselves, our thoughts, our souls freely and openly without fear of punishment.
Raam’s third solo effort, A Year and a Day is slated for an October 10 release through Noufe Records in his homeland — but naturally because of his connection to Hypernova and Yellow Dogs, the effort will receive some attention from more forward-thinking publications and blogs. And the album’s first single “Closing Credits” begins with hauntingly sparse arrangement of Raam’s mournful baritone accompanied by gorgeously strummed guitar. Roughly half way in, Raam’s backing band slowly joins in dramatic drumming, shimmering guitar chords played with gentle washes of reverb — and it gives the song a dramatic heft before quietly ending, much like the closing credits of a movie but with a stunningly elegant simplicity.
The recently released, official video has a striking, dream-like quality as it follows Raam through a fairy tale-like forest with a husky who faithfully follows along. Towards the end of the video, the imagery begins to turn psychedelic and an even more surreal feel to the video.