Arooj Aftab Shares Single 'Whiskey' Ahead of New Album

Her album, Night Reign, is out May 31, 2024,

By: May. 07, 2024
Arooj Aftab Shares Single 'Whiskey' Ahead of New Album
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Arooj Aftab shares “Whiskey,” the second single from her forthcoming album, Night Reign, out May 31, 2024 on Verve Records. 

Night Reign is the follow up to Aftab’s critically acclaimed label debut Vulture Prince. To commemorate the single release, today Aftab is the featured artist on Apple Music’s New Music Daily. Last month, “Raat Ki Rani,” the album’s debut single and music video directed by actress Tessa Thompson, garnered praise from NPR, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and many more. The track was strongly positioned across digital platforms on flagship playlists such as Spotify's New Music Friday and Apple Music's New Music Daily, with inclusions spanning indie, folk, jazz, global and experimental, furthering Night Reign's mission to break the boundaries of genre.

Atmospheric and playful, “Whiskey” transports listeners to a melancholic display of intoxicated infatuation as Aftab sings in English: “Your head gets heavy and rests on my shoulder ’cause you drink too much whiskey when you’re with me.”

The track’s freeform structure, jazz elements, and touches of ’90s R&B showcase the range of Aftab’s musical adventurousness. Collaborators on “Whiskey” include Kaki King and Gyan Riley on guitars, Maeve Gilchrist on harp, Linda May Han Oh on bass and Jamey Haddad on percussion. While the band keeps up, TimaLikesMusic contributes retro Juno keyboard runs and a dreamy electric piano solo. 

“‘Whiskey’ is about being out at night with someone you like, but the evening gets a little carried away,” Aftab explains. “My friend has had too much, now I am tired, and I need to figure out how to get us both home. But overall somehow the night and the interaction is still pretty cute.” 

Aftab makes the night the focus of her latest nine-song collection. Entirely in her own voice and through her own story, she delves into the multifaceted, bold and fascinating realm that comes to life after dark. Some nights are for falling in love, some are for solitude and introspection, some are to be annoyed at a forced social gathering–and so go the stories of Night Reign.

The album features new friends like Cautious Clay shredding on flute, Moor Mother echoing Aftab’s sentiment of how cruel the world is, and Chocolate Genius aka Marc Anthony Thompson lending his tender sensibilities to a song about being grounded. Longtime collaborators Petros Klampanis and Maeve Gilchrist also continue their musical partnership as core members of Arooj’s musical family. The resulting new music again showcases Aftab’s striking ability to build a thing of beauty from distinct elements. Night Reign is a clear departure from tradition or the reinvention of ancestral music. It’s a reflection of Aftab’s 15 years living in New York City and her unapologetic commitment to stay true to herself. With open-heartedness, candor and wit, Aftab lets us get even closer to her.

Photo Credit: Shreya Dev Dube


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