‘Til You Can Dance Again – New Album Release

On March 23, on the occasion of Purim, Iraqis in Pajamas alternative rock band releases new album, ‘Til You Can Dance Again, a tribute to the victims of the Oct 7 massacre.

Loolwa Khazzoom

Seattle, WA – On Oct 7, Hamas butchered Israelis young and old, at the Nova dance festival and at local kibbutzim in southern Israel. In the wake of this slaughter, and the shocking celebrations worldwide, and the deafening silence of non-Jews in response to both, Iraqis in Pajamas front woman Loolwa Khazzoom stopped writing poetry and music, stopped singing and playing bass, and stopped dancing – both from a sense of despair and out of a feeling of solidarity with the victims. Two months into this ordeal, Khazzoom suddenly burst into an intensive 10 day period of creativity, in which she wrote 7 songs for the Oct 7 victims, and boldly shared her outrage about the circumstances surrounding the massacre. The album is releasing on March 23, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Purim, which celebrates Jewish survival and resilience in the wake of attempted genocide.

Song Lyrics and Recordings
Song recordings and lyrics are here
. Get hi-res photos, and find out more about Iraqis in Pajamas, on the band’s press pageAlbum cover, featured above, is by tattoo artist Charis Nwaozuzu.

Album Backstory
After nearly three months of feeling completely shut down, Khazzoom had an epiphany that radical Jewish joy is in fact the most powerful act of solidarity and defiance. Rather than descending into a pit of darkness with the victims, she realized, she and other Jews worldwide needed to amplify and spread the Light, to help uplift those who were suffering. Music, dance, food, storytelling, and praying were in fact pillars of Jewish surviving and thriving throughout millennia of persecution, Khazzoom reflected, as well as how she had overcome adversities in her own life. Full back story of the album here.

Album Preview
The creation of this album served as a vehicle for Khazzoom’s processing and healing, and the tone of the songs evolved as Khazzoom herself evolved from feeling despair to outrage to core power:

  • “Dear Hostages” is a love song to those held in captivity, in which Khazzoom pledges, I will not forsake you…I will not forget you, as she explores what it means to act in solidarity from afar. 
  • “‘Til You Can Dance Again” is a spin on the Israeli promise, “We will dance again” – vowing to spread the life energy of dance, to help uplift the spirits of those who were shattered by the massacre. 
  • “Bataween” draws from a conversation with an Iraqi Muslim friend, exemplifying the healing imperative of Arab Muslims recognizing and caring about the history of indigenous Middle Eastern Jews – including the experience of Arab Muslim oppression. 
  • “Kids from the Sandbox” builds on that imperative, holding out a vision for Arabs and Jews to embrace the complexity of shared history, using art to express love and hate in healthy ways – effectively co-creating a new reality. 
  • “I’m a Fuck-You Jew” fuses ancient and contemporary stories of Jewish defiance and soul power – in an unabashed expression of Jewish pride and strength, amidst an onslaught of global accusation and condemnation. The song references Mordechai, from the story of Purim, and ends with an a cappella rendition of a traditional Iraqi song for the holiday.
  • “These Boots” is a campy spin on “never again” – calling out the Left’s hypocrisy and betrayal in the wake of Oct, and refusing to contribute Jewish energy and resources to those who do not offer the same in turn. 
  • “Bloody Cross” is a scathing critique of the Red Coss’s racism and hypocrisy in its failure and refusal to properly care for the Israeli hostages in Gaza.

Endorsement Excerpts
Loolwa is a force of nature…Her courageous heart expresses itself so eloquently in the hurricane of her gritty music. – Deva Premal & Miten, Billboard chart-topping musicians

I have always found Loolwa Khazzoom as both an original and a super honest artist. In an art scene, and an entire world for that matter, desperately lacking those exact qualities, her presence and work are a blessing. – Sha’anan Street, platinum recording artist, Hadag Nahash

Loolwa Khazzoom is a brilliant lyricist and a dedicated artist, with the ability to teach through her art. Loolwa and her band, Iraqis in Pajamas, bring deeply personal truth through song and lyric and make us think through our own human reaction, through their profound and often cathartic performances. We need more of this!  We need more art that makes us think in this turbulent world. Loolwa is the pearl in the oyster of a nation in great need of more awareness and enlightened thinking. – Lara Lavi, Grammy Award-winning musician

See full endorsements here.

About Iraqis in Pajamas
In turn vulnerable and angry, haunting and inspiring, Iraqis in Pajamas disarms audiences, opening them to deep contemplation about trauma, healing, and transformation. With songs in English, Judeo-Arabic, and Hebrew, the band has a unique sound – an innovative blend of ancient Iraqi Jewish prayers, alternative rock, and personal storytelling about topics as varied as cancer, domestic violence, racism, mental illness, street harassment, family caregiving, and national exile. The band is virtual, spanning two countries and three states – with singer, songwriter, and bass player Loolwa Khazzoom in Seattle, WA, drum composer/performer Chris Belin in Pittsburgh PA, and guitar composer/performer and sound engineer Mike Deeth in Victoria, BC.

About the Album Art
For Charis Nwaozuzu, a Cherokee Jewish tattoo artist from Oklahoma City, OK, storytelling through art is the perfect marriage between both her cultures. This original album art is the visual embodiment of songs on the album. It reflects the exceptional ability of the Jewish people to rise from the ashes of tragedy – in particular, Jewish women, who have endured horrors and have protected each other from harm. The Jewish people rise together as one, extracting light and beauty from generations of tragedy – never dulled, but rather, burning brighter, as the passion to survive and thrive grows within. 

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