I only popped into Webster Hall’s Marlin Room to see A-WA (pronounced Ay-Wa and translates to “yeah” in Arabic) for a few songs but I quickly found that their colorful attire and winsome beats had gotten the crowd partying hard. It was the band’s celebration for their debut release Habib Galbi and I was lucky enough to catch a moment when the three sisters, Tair, Liron and Tagel Haim, invited a number of fans up onto the stage to dance with them. It was great fun to see them perform especially since I didn’t understand what the Israeli sisters were singing about.
On June 27th, NPR Music recognized Habib Galbi as one of their ’30 Favorite Albums of 2016 (So Far)’ where they praised the sisters’ album as a celebration of, “the legacy of their ancestors from Yemen, with their distinct culture and near-extinct dialect of Arabic. Even the band’s name is a callback to that shared culture; aywa means “yeah” in Arabic. But the trio isn’t looking to just preserve old sounds: instead, these Haim sisters catapult this roots material with bracing, quirky, three-part harmonies that float over electronic beats.”
Check out photos from A-WA’s show, a couple of their music videos below and stream Habib Galbi on Spotify now.