New York City-based duo Iska Dhaaf’s beautiful, tonal, layered, electronic songs pulse with pop-click-bang rhythms that race like a jackrabbit’s heartbeat. On their new album, The Wanting Creature (2016, Brick Lane Records) Nathan Quiroga’s and Benjamin Verdoes’ voices intertwine in an elegant, ghostly ballet that perfectly complements their songs’ haunting stories of modern life with all its complications.
We asked Nate and Benjamin to take our Ten Questions survey. Here’s what they had to say (seemingly in unison):
1. What is your favorite album?
Iska Dhaaf: Kid A by Radiohead
2. What is your least favorite song?
The “Chicken Song” that they play at roller skating rinks. Also, that song by Edwin McCain, “I’ll Be,” or whatever it’s called, is a close second. I hate these songs with a deep unbridled passion. I resent the question, because now they’re stuck in my head.
3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?
Writing songs and traveling around the world with my best friend to perform them.
4. What do you hate about being in a band?
Business/promotion is probably the worst aspect.
5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?
Orange juice, or most variations of fruit.
6. In what city or town do you love to perform?
Paris is really amazing.
7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?
In general, even in the worst venues and towns we find a way to enjoy ourselves and connect with people. There have been plenty of strange and sparsely attended shows, but they’re all valuable.
8. How do you pay your bills?
Strategically and usually with a sense of unease.
9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?
Writing novels, short stories, or films. I would hate to be a mortician.
10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?
I haven’t heard that many. Most of them are in songs that came from Saddle Creek bands. Nate saw his first Fire-Fly there, though. That’s a nice story.
Iska Dhaaf plays with Annalibera, Haunted Gauntlet and Mike Schlesinger & Sean Pratt Sunday, May 1, at O’Leaver’s, 1322 Saddle Creek Rd. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $5. For more information, go to liveatoleavers.com.