The East’s best kept secret? Despite being a national treasure to generations of free-thinking Iranians and one of the most well-known and loved songbirds from the East, Faegheh Atashin (most famously known as Googoosh or Gougoush) is ironically also the performer of some of the rarest unheard pop music in the world.
Originally pressed on the diminishing vinyl format in the mid-1970s her songs and performances were banned after the Iranian revolution of 1979 resulting in her records, and millions of others, being forbidden, hidden and destroyed. Preserved in some part via the rise of global compact cassette culture in the 1980s some of Googoosh’s most famous songs have become anthemic amongst international Iranian communities whilst in darker contrast dozens of 45 b-sides and commercially stunted album tracks remain as distant and nonexistent memories in the mind of the most devout fans and fastidious vinyl librarians.
Finders Keepers’ first Googoosh release focuses on a handful of these lesser-spotted tracks – the ones that didn’t get away. Herein many will find the singer at her beguiling best with an urgency and yearning in her voice that is arguably unrivalled by so many contenders under the often disposable femme-pop umbrella. Mid-tempo pop peons with pulsating rhythm sections awash with expertly orchestrated strings (akin to that of some of the most intense Italian or French film composers) provide the backdrop for unrequited love songs revealing poetic premonitions of impeding cultural heartbreak. Other carefully selected tracks take cues from Googoosh’s most unlikely influences, such as jazz, bossa and early disco, unconsciously inducing political paranoia from the era’s imminent anti-pop restrictive regime. Combining inspiration from a deep-rooted history of Persian poetic verse and indelible Arabic songcraft these lost tracks, from the artist known amongst Farsi speaking fans throughout the world as ‘Iran’s Daughter,’ have most certainly, finally earned a place in the hearts of “outernational” music lovers like yourself.