Kobra Recordings – June 26th

Dark Windows, the debut album from Berlin-based artist Arya Zappa has been a long time coming.

Having spent a lot of her music career as a DJ and running Konsequent Records, Maral Salmassi finally came to terms with her voice – “a whiskey gargling drag queen” – and adopted the striking persona Arya Zappa to release her music.

Dark Windows is in keeping with the legendary detached coolness of Berlin. Zappa has taken her cue from artists like Bauhaus, Dead Can Dance and Grace Jones to create an album of new wave and brooding goth, masterfully narrated with her distinctively deep croon.

Alongside Berlin, a surprising influence on Dark Windows is the poetry of Philip Larkin. “Cut Grass” and “Now or Always” take the Englishman’s elegies on death and miserabilia and transform them into sensual, tactile songs. Elsewhere there is some Bowie glam on “Goodbye” and playfulness on “Words” and all the while it’s impossible not to be pulled into the world of Arya Zappa thanks to that mesmerising voice.

Dark Windows might be a debut late in arrival, but it’s been worth the wait.