Headless Horseman Races to Top

For #MusicMonday today I bring to you the Headless Horseman, an “adventure girl pop duo” coming at you from Brooklyn, New York. Though the band has only been around for the past six months, they have already been making quite the splash. Headless Horseman will be part of the Brownout with MTV Desi this Friday, sharing the stage with Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers and a bunch of other bands we’ve covered here on our site. If you are in NYC, I totally suggest you check it out.

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The Headless Horseman duo consists of Conner O’Neill and Fareed Sajan, two guys with the same Halloween birthday who got together to put out some falsetto laced ethereal music. The vocals remind me of Mayer Hawthorne while the sound has a Beach House flavored clanginess. Take a listen:

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Exclusive to Sepia Mutiny readers, you can download for FREE the track SH8KR RIGHT HERE 04 SH8KR.mp3 . I also asked Fareed Sajan a few question about his music, his life, his sound. Here is what he had to say.

Taz: How do you feel about your Brownout show this Friday with MTV Desi and sharing the stage with dynamite Desis like Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers, PO PO and Sunny Ali and the Kid?

Fareed: Really glad to have MTV Desi on board, of course like any ‘alternative’ listening teenager I paid attention to MTV in 90′s. Cool to partner up with them to do something different, and something that feels culturally relevant, at least for me. The bands featured are certainly relevant. Growing up going to the mosque, and mosque related social events, I used to fantasize what it would be like to perform at any social function for my fellow brown people. Like instead of Dandiya and a band playing Dandiya music, I’d imagine performing “Untitled 8″ by Sigur Ros off the ( ) album, and I would wonder how people would react to something so ethereal and blissful and alien. Maybe this is the closest I will get?

T: What did you do to get Heems of Das Racist to take you under his wings and manage you?

F: Haha, I sent him an email with my music? Maybe I planted the idea a few times in his brain when we were both inebriated… But we went to College together, so it was sort of a no brainer.T: In a previous interview you’ve said about your music, “It’s reflective of my upbringing and my relationship with my family and my religion, but I don’t think it’s necessarily reflective of being South Asian.” Would you say that music that you create that talks about your relationship to your family and your religion IS reflective of the quintessential South Asian American youth story, and thus whatever you put out there musically, contributes to this community narrative?

F: Well, no. In that interview I meant that of course whatever music I make is affected by my upbringing, my surroundings, my dreams, my repressions, and of course my familial relationships… But in my music, I do not reference specific South Asian signifiers, or really much of any specific signifiers for that matter. I tend to de-emphasize the use of pronouns and specifics so that instead the subject matter is more broad and universal. The listeners can then plug in various personal variables into these open ended equations I write and the songs are then their own. In that interview I was saying that we don’t want to make political music, or music that is rich with cultural signifiers, we like the anonymity of the speaker and the beauty in wearing a mask. Its not to say that we won’t ever do something like that, or that we haven’t already (hint), its just we are not focused on doing such things at the moment.

T: How long has your band been around, and how did you and your bandmate decide to make this band?

F: We made our live and internet debut this past Sept (of 2010). Prior to that, Conner and I had been recording for roughly a year experimenting and writing lots and lots of songs. Some of them exercises in songwriting, some of which may never see the light of day, some of which we are still working on. We decided to make this band because I had these songs I couldn’t finish, and Conner could, so naturally we began finishing songs at our own pace, and naturally over the course of that year prior to Sept. the band took shape. The band is still taking shape, we are a developing changing group, and we try to be transparent with our development. We post and give away songs as we finish them. By no means are fixed on anything, we may add members, we are constantly exploring new songs, and we still have yet ,to release our best material :)

T: Who are your top three musical influences right now? What song is playing on your ipod at this very moment?

F: Yonkers by Tyler, the Creator of Odd Future. Its Radiohead week so I suppose the new Radiohead, though I do not know how much I am enjoying it. Surely Yonkers steals my mind at the moment. a third song, well a lot of new music came out recently, so I will go with that theme. Tune-Yards had a new song ripped off BBC radio that is super dope called “Bizness” from her forthcoming sophmore album “w h o k i l l”. The production on it is what I would call future music.

T: Is it possible to be a girlpop duo without any girls? Is this like how “GirlTalk” is a dude?

F: Haha, well we call ourselves girlpop because that is sort of what we aim for. I mean there are girl groups, 60′s kind of stuff, like the Ronettes or the Shrang Ri-Las, which are motown/doowop groups that feature several female singers harmonizing together. That is sort of what I do with myself, I sing in falsetto and sometimes people think a girl is singing in Headless, and I harmonize with myself on record… So ideally I would like a few girl singers backing me up, so we could do a sort og girl group thing despite me not being a girl. But when I say girl pop, I am speaking more broadly. I wouldn’t say Headless has too much of a 60′s or 50′s vibe, maybe a little, but sometimes I get inspired by girlpop songs, like Britney Spears “Toxic”, haha. So that is sort of what I mean by that, sort of a joke too.

T: What was your favorite ethnic food growing up in your South Asian via Kenya household?

F: I love Rogan Josh, its an Indian dish, sorry but I have to just say that.

T: If your movie could be picked up to be music in any sort of movie, what kind of film do you imagine it’d be?

F: Dark and brooding. But depending on the song, it could also be a skater blooper reel.

T: What do you plan on doing when you get to SXSW? Say “Whad up” to a girl named “Mecca” at the Whataburger in Austin for me.

F: Whad up, Mecca! Well, I guess play a lot of shows. We have a hectic schedule lined up for ourselves, so we are gonna try and make the most of it. Can’t divulge too many details yet, soon enough we will make a formal announcement.

Follow this adventure girl pop duo on further misadventures in music via their facebook page, their myspace page, their bandcamp or, of course, their twitter.

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About Taz

Taz is an activist, organizer and writer based in California. She is the founder of South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), curates MutinousMindState.tumblr.com and blogs at TazzyStar.blogspot.com. Follow her at twitter.com/tazzystar

4 thoughts on “Headless Horseman Races to Top

  1. Okay, so I saw them on Friday. Great performance. Props to Farheed’s mother, btw. She’s adorable.