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IDHAZ Dances Through a Chilling, Desolate San Francisco in 'if i am afraid'

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IDHAZ' "if i am afraid" is a textured, industrial electronic track with an equally unsettling music video.  (Photo: courtesy of the artist; illustration: Kelly Heigert)

Welcome to Pass the Aux, where every week we feature new music by Bay Area artists. Check out past entries and submit a song for future coverage here.

Remember when the streets were completely desolate during the start of the pandemic? A visceral feeling of uncertainty permeated our day-to-day, and familiar places looked and felt eerie without the usual signs of life.

IDHAZ captures that post-apocalyptic anxiety in his new music video for “if i am afraid,” a heart-racing track where delicate wisps of R&B vocals float like smoke over harsh, industrial electronic instruments. Synths echo like elevator shafts; drums clang like swords drawn from sheathes. Underneath its atmospheric gloom, the track is as textured and tactile as the urban environment in the music video.

Directed by Brandon Tauszik, the video shows IDHAZ dancing in Joker-esque makeup throughout the empty streets of San Francisco, joined by turf dancer Yaya Muhammad and breaker Justice Marttila, both of whom honed their crafts in battles and street performances. The trio’s movements are mesmerizing as they slink their way through a sinister landscape before we’re left questioning whether the whole thing was a dream.

“if i am afraid” is the lead single from IDHAZ’ debut full-length album, psychic behaviors, out now on San Francisco experimental electronic label Left Hand Path.

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