Baghon Main (feat. Darian Donovan Thomas)
Diya Hai (feat. Badi Assad)
The Pakistani musician began writing her second album, and then her younger brother died. And so, instead of the dark, edgy dance record she’d intended on making, Aftab turned to the Urdu ghazals she grew up with—an ancient form of lyric poetry centered around loss and longing. On Vulture Prince, Aftab makes the art form her own, trading the traditional percussion-heavy instrumentation for heavenly string arrangements (harp, violin, upright bass); she even ventures into reggae territory on “Last Night,” a slinky rendition of a Rumi poem. She translates another poem, this time by Mirza Ghalib, on “Diya Hai,” the last song she performed for her brother Maher, and a haunting expression of all-encompassing grief.