Song of the Week: Humeysha’s “Nusrat on the Beach” Reinvents the Song of the Summer
Western instruments meet Eastern sounds. The results are lovely.
In 2018, Stereogum hailed Departures, the then-new album from the band Humeysha, for its innovative blend of musical styles and tactile approach to songwriting. Writer Pranav Trewn noted that frontman Zain Alam “is able to uncover Eastern sounds out of Western instruments in a way that defies the standard impression of either.” Now, Humeysha has returned with a new EP, Nusrat on the Beach — and its title track is simultaneously complex in its sound and neatly blissed-out in its mood.
In an essay at Talkhouse introducing the new song, Alam discussed the influence of the late Pakistani Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (a favorite of, among others, Jeff Buckley) on this song. “I’ve found deep inspiration for my own music in how qawwals use chant and repetition to comfort (and challenge) the self, sustain explorations in rhythm, and invite audiences to participate,” Alam writes. On this song, Humeysha blend a traditional sound with a languorous melody, and the result is a perfect song to listen to while savoring the summer, equally pensive and beatific.
The Nusrat on the Beach EP is available for pre-order now, and will be released on August 2.