Evanora:Unlimited and Taraneh on the Power of Prayer


Evanora:Unlimited and Taraneh, photographed by Lauren Davis.

Before their friendship and musical collaboration materialized, Evanora:Unlimited was having dreams about Taraneh. “They were in my subconscious because I listened to their music so much,” he explained. The pair went from DMing to touring the world together, merging their frenetic styles and finding unexpected waves of inspiration, including a recording of a prayer to Mother Mary that Evanora overhead in Poland (which was eventually interpolated into their new single “Salt Water”). The pair joined last week in a cramped back room during a release party for Taraneh’s solo single to talk about their creative partnership, touring the world together, and making music in a dentist’s office.


RIBEIRO: I’m with Orion [Ohana], whose artist name is Evanora:Unlimited, and Taraneh. And we have someone else here. Can you tell us your name for Interview Magazine?

MARK HUNTER: The Cobra Snake. I love New York City.

TARANEH: We love New York City.

RIBEIRO: We’re here tonight to celebrate the release…

TARANEH: My new single “Prophet.” It’s the first single off my next record, my third full album.

RIBEIRO: And you two have something coming up soon, correct?

TARANEH: We sure do.

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: I’m also releasing an album on the 22nd of February, Perfect Answer. But Taraneh and I have a single called “Salt Water” coming out on February 2nd, which has a very important music video that was shot over the course of two years in seven plus countries.

TARANEH: It documents our friendship in a lot of ways, but also our history of touring together. There’s footage from the first Europe tour we did together in 2021, which was your tour that I hopped on very unofficially.

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: As well as Japan and Berlin.

RIBEIRO: I want to talk about the evolution of your history together as artists. My introduction to both of you was through an earlier song you did.

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: I was a big fan of Taraneh for a long time. I listened to a lot of their early releases when they were doing more acoustic stuff. They must have been in my subconscious because, before I even met them, I had a dream that I was attending a house showing with my mom, and they were there with their mom and kept making eye contact from another room. I had a big crush on them at the time.

TARANEH: That’s how we met! No, Orion just DM’d me one day.

EVANORA: UNLIMITED: Yeah, randomly like, “Yo, we should make some music.”

RIBEIRO: Talk to me about the new song you guys have together. What’s it giving?

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: It was very much made with live performance in mind. I made all the instrumentals because I was only DJing at the time, but then I was like, “Fuck it, I’m going to just try vocals on this shit.” Then I made “Age of Information,” which is completely off jump from what I usually make, which is experimental punk or industrial, electronic punk, very high energy. “Age of Information” is like, ballad, acoustic, instrumental, no drums, very melodic.

TARANEH: I feel like “Salt Water” is a marriage of those two.

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: With punk music, it’s not something you can really sit down and chill out to. It gets exhausting. This one is very high energy, but also adding in the melodic sense.

TARANEH: The way we made the song was really special because Orion and I were going on our first tour together in Tokyo. I went to stay with him in the Bay Area for a week before. He opened the track and was like, ” I’m working on this.” I was like, “I love it. Let me try to play around.”

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: No, we made it together live in Berlin with Halle playing the guitar.

TARANEH: The guitar track we did in Berlin, but the vocals I remember specifically recording in the basement of the dental office that you were living in.

RIBEIRO: Wait, were you living in a dental office?

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: I was living in a dental office.

RIBEIRO: What was it like?

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: It was uncomfortable, but it was beautiful. Before that I was living in Oakland and I was an apartment building site manager, so I had free rent, but I was putting my dreams on hold because I couldn’t go on tour. Once the first tour came up, it was just like, fuck it. I put all my shit in storage and decided to be homeless and travel the world. Eventually a friend inherited his grandfather’s house and he was a dentist, and in the basement he had his full dental lab. I was super grateful because while it was beautiful as fuck traveling the world and touring, that shit is not sustainable.

RIBEIRO: Everyone needs to have a place to put their hat at night.

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: That shit gave me a chance to take a breath. But yeah, we tracked the guitar with our friend Helle in Berlin. That was in October of 2022.

TARANEH: We went into the studio and we’re like, “Oh my god. Amazing.”

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: We were like, “Yo, can you do something like this?” We played some oldies for him and he was like, “Absolutely.”

TARANEH: So we sat down together and constructed the track before we went to Tokyo.

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: Exactly. We tracked it in Berlin.

TARANEH: No, we tracked the whole thing in the Bay [Area], because I remember doing the Farsi sitting at your desk in your bedroom. The intro is by our friend Esther, who still lives in Berlin, but she’s Ukrainian.

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: Yeah, I was stuck in Poland. This girl was there reading, I don’t know what the situation was, but she read this prayer to Mother Mary in Russian. It’s crazy because it really aligns with the storyline of Evanora.

RIBEIRO: Wait, do you know the prayer or could you tell us where the translation is?

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: Yes, I have it on my phone. One second.

RIBEIRO: We can wait. Take this moment to talk to us about making music in Farsi. How do you include Farsi in your music-making process?

TARANEH: Of course. My family is from Iran. I grew up spending summers there, so I speak Farsi with my family and it’s a big part of who I am. My name, Taraneh, means melody in Farsi. I’m a New York artist in many ways, but being able to integrate Farsi into something that contextually has no place for it is really special. It’s new and fresh if I may say so myself, which is kind of the whole point of doing anything at all.

RIBEIRO: Absolutely. I’m going to circle back now because Orion has shown us the prayer in the song.

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: It says, “To you, Oh, most Holy Mother, I dare to raise my voice, washing your face with tears. Hear me in the sorrowful hour. Please accept my warmest prayers. Deliver my spirit from troubles and evils. Shed tenderness into my heart. Guide me on the path to salvation. May I be alien to my own will. I’m ready to endure everything for God. Give me protection in my bitter fate. Don’t let me die in sadness. You are the refuge to the unfortunate prayer book. Protect me when I’m terrible. Let us hear God’s voice of judgment. When time closes the eternity, the sound of the trumpet will raise the dead. And the book of conscience is all a burden. He will expose my sins, your protection, and hedge for the faithful. I pray to you with all my soul, save me my joy. Have mercy on me.”

RIBEIRO: Wow, that’s pretty powerful.

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: So I was trying to figure out how the fuck to get home and she was reading me this shit in Russian. Then I snapped out of my high and I was like, “Wait, could you say that again?” I recorded it on voice memos and then threw that in the song randomly after the fact.

TARANEH: It feels so blessed to have that prayer in a song.

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: It fits really well.

TARANEH: I believe in the power of prayer, personally.

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: A lot of the way I see Evanora, it’s very genre-less. The music released under Evanora is more like a film soundtrack, with varying shit that fits whatever the scene is.

TARANEH: I would say that my music is the same, genre-less.

RIBEIRO: Interesting.

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: The vibe of the Evanora film is very much based on true events, religious science fiction horror epic or science fiction religious horror epic.

RIBEIRO: Oh my gosh. I am really happy that you guys get to put prayer in someone’s life every day.

TARANEH: Right. You’re listening to “Salt Water,” you’re blessed.

RIBEIRO: Before I let you guys go, what’s the vibe tonight? How do you feel?

TARANEH: I feel so blessed that so many people came out to celebrate the release. I’m surrounded by friends and family and I am so hyped and feel really peaceful and awesome.

RIBEIRO: What’s your vibe, Orion?

EVANORA:UNLIMITED: I’m absolutely chilling. You feel me?