Baklava Express is the new name on the block, and while many have not had the pleasure of experiencing their mystical sounds, New Yorkers have been the luckier lot who have enjoyed live performances from one of the most authentic musical bands to ever exist. You don’t get the kind of music Baklava Express authenticates anywhere else, and this is why you need to bookmark this name, albeit in your memory, because they are about to make history in the world of music in ways that so many people will still rave about decades from now.
Fronted by Oud player Josh Kaye, this 5-piece band has been able to cultivate a rare and authentic sound that is founded on traditional Arabian culture and lifestyle with Turkish, Greece and Armenian influences, attractively packaged and amalgamated with classical jazz, flamenco, rock, and Eastern European folk for an otherworldly stylistic flair that you don’t get anywhere else.
Having performed in live shows and events all over NYC, the band deemed it fit to now share their unusual artistic endeavors with the rest of the world, and I, for once, couldn’t be happier that they decided to do that because how else were we supposed to enjoy such musical excellence!
Talent like this is rare and far between; artists everywhere have lost authenticity in the name of keeping up with trend-grabbing acts, and while it is okay to continuously invent your style, it is also just fine to remember your roots and never abandon that thing that made people fall in love with your craft in the first place.
Baklava Express’ sound is genre-bending and defies categorization, but it has also been founded on a vintage, traditional sound, where the gist of all its melodies reside. Everything is built from the ground up following an ingeniously crafted composition.
“Dávka,” the 9-track debut project, sees Baklava Express at its finest; the music here takes you on wholeheartedly and fuels your body, mind, and soul. The smooth transition and the instrumental dexterity on display here deserve critical acclaim and demonstrate such praiseworthy determination from every member of the band.
The soundscapes are just adventurous—one moment you’re floating in a world of fantasy, and the next you are all by yourself experiencing some thought-inspiring emotions. At other times, you are jolted back into reality and you feel the vibe, you want to dance along, and you just don’t want the moments to end.
This is the very definition of talent: to engineer a debut album that weaves together real-life narratives of uncertainty, introspection, and genuine motivational hope that powerfully transport and deeply resonate with its listener.
In this collection, Baklava Express explores the unknown, meditates on the fleeting nature of life, and despite the lush, experimental nature of the tracks, they are able to convey concrete meaning. Through the use of live instrumentation and percussion, the band makes its audience feel like they are floating in a nostalgic tapestry of sound, evoking a sense of attachment and association.
Through this traditionally fueled music, the band captures the feelings of being human; the anxieties, the disillusionment, the happiness, the nostalgia, the cyclicality, and the catharsis. “Dávka” is a cosmic washing machine for the wandering soul.
I cannot stress enough how you need this type of cathartic music so as to operate on a higher level of consciousness- this is music like you have never experienced before and it happens to be performed by people who understand the nitty-gritty and deliver it in a way you’ll live to remember…how about that!
You now have a date with your destiny; it awaits, and the only way to meet it is to stream this album in its entirety and start a lifelong love affair with Baklava Express’ music from this day forward!