The Bedroom Witch, a dark pop project of Los Angeles-based recording and performance artist Sepehr Mashiahof, returns with Diaspora, a story-telling concept album and the fifth LP in her expansive discography. Through the melancholy of the album’s narrative, each song weaves together messages from ultra-dimensional entities to overcome the core struggle in the second generation immigrants’ experience: alienation in a new world. Recorded and mixed by Mashiahof herself and released by Psychic Eye Records, Diaspora investigates the ever-evolving mystery of the Bedroom Witch’s origin story as an Iranian-American Trans Woman.       

In Diaspora, haunting 80s-inspired synths meet longing vocal harmonies to soundtrack her journey from “Exile” to “Nowhere”, where the former represents the United States, while the latter points to a lost relationship with the homeland, Iran.  “I had been so puzzled in the past by these repeating patterns and themes in my songs that it started to become infuriating.  If my music was meant to be this channel of healing, I wondered what these omnipresent words and places I imagined were trying to communicate to me,” Mashiahof expresses.  En route from grief to acceptance, she roams through seas of insects, dances with queer fountain deities, and breaks enchanted gates in hopes of reuniting with her “Shadow Self” and piecing fragments of her identity together.  “I kept seeing visions of women in veils obscured by cool toned lights hovering over me to a point where it really started to click that there was this whole other part of myself that had been abandoned through the diaspora so I wanted to tell an epic-style story that spoke to the immigrant experience.”

Cast as the misunderstood maker of the veil, The Bedroom Witch lyrically chants spells that fabricate worlds parallel to her own through dark, synth-based songs, video and choreographed performance.  The Bedroom Witch story began in 2011 with the initial intention to soundtrack a 7 act video story she had been writing during this time, The Alter Shegos (alternatively titled The Altar She Goes).  As the music project began to grow into its own separate form, Mashiahof soon after self released two albums, Moon Bathing and Ceremonial Serenades in 2014 and 2015.  In 2017 she released her third album Injury under LA based label Practical Records, followed by a fourth self released album, My Sacrifices, My Demands.  Around the same time as her third release, she began filming an episode series, Bizarre Times with The Bedroom Witch as both a visual supplement to inform the choreography in her live performances and to further piece together the storytelling element in her songs.  Her work has been covered by KQED, LA Record, Scene Point Blank and Bandcamp Daily

Her imaginative and unpredictable live show recently toured the East Coast with multimedia artist Wizard Apprentice and was a featured act in the Bay Area’s renowned Multiverse is Illuminated Black & Brown Punk Festival as well as the first ever Transgress Fest in Santa Ana.

Photo by Kristin Cofer