We/Or/Me is the musical alias of Bahhaj Taherzadeh, quite possibly the world’s only Persian-Irish singer/songwriter. Born and raised in Dublin to an Iranian father and an Irish mother, Taherzadeh now lives in Chicago where he has plied his trade as a manuscript editor and writer over the years. Steeped in storytelling traditions on both sides of his lineage, Taherzadeh, a self-taught musician from a decidedly non-musical family, started to write songs in the mid-2000s, rarely sharing them with anyone apart from a few close friends. This all changed suddenly with the encouragement of Glen Hansard, who literally called Taherzadeh to the stage one night during a set of his own, and told him it was time to sing a song. That moment, coming after the two had shared an inspiring conversation on a rainy Dublin street a week prior, set Taherzadeh on a path he has been walking ever since. It has been a long and winding one that has seen him share the stage with the likes of Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling, the Swell Season, and Mt. Eerie to name just a few.
In 2009, after becoming the father of twins, Taherzadeh became obsessed with using what little free time he had creatively. He started to write songs in his car on his lunch breaks at work, recording them at night while his daughters slept. The daily/nightly routine yielded a string of self-produced releases that drew admiration from the likes of NPR Music, Glen Hansard, Vashti Bunyan, and producer Brian Deck. (Bunyan became a collaborator, singing on 2013’s The Walking Hour, which Deck mixed).
Everything Behind Us is a Dream is his first studio record and the first wide-scale We/Or/Me release. Produced by Adam Selzer (M. Ward, Decemberists), it was recorded in the space of four days at Portland's Type Foundry Studio with several of the city’s finest session musicians dropping in to fill out the sound. The result is a warm, often haunting meditation on memory, identity, and mortality that harkens back to the tone of some of the great singer/songwriter records of the 60s and 70s.
“Gorgeous . . . emotionally wrenching, . . . delicate melodies and heartbreaking narratives. . . . Reminiscent of Bert Jansch or Leonard Cohen.” — Robin Hilton, NPR, All Songs Considered
“Exceptionally beautiful . . . features Vashti Bunyan and the most beautiful verses I’ve heard on an album this year.” — Alex Gallacher, Folk Radio UK
“We/Or/Me are a wondrous group—not just for the restraint and care of their songwriting, but for the way these songs are recorded, slow and breathing.” — Sean Michaels, Said the Gramophone
News & Updates
A long overdue new website. It has been a busy time lately in our little world. We released our new record, Everything Behind Us is a Dream, on January 29. It was an exciting record to make, and the response to it has been fantastic. We’ve gotten to do some great things surrounding its release, including a Daytrotter session and several lovely shows. There are a few exciting things coming up on the horizon. We’ll be opening for Fort Frances at their album launch show at City Winery Chicago on April 21, and there will be a solo show in New York on June 10 at the Irish Arts Center. We’re working on some Irish dates for June, and some other things are in the pipeline. I’m also hoping to do some house concerts in the coming months, so feel free to drop a line if interested in hosting.
As mid-life crises go, buying a Nirvana t-shirt at Target is pretty mild, right?
BBC 6Music Feature
Folk Radio UK Review
Said the Gramophone Feature