Press

PRESS QUOTES

"Ami Saraiya and the Outcome’s globally-influenced, pop-leaning songs seem caught in some otherworld where old-world pop meets the ethereal meets cabaret – and gets performed in a café somewhere in the lush European hillsides...."  Tony Sarabia, WBEZ/NPR Chicago

"Fascinating, beguiling...I love it!  A singular sound that fills a hole or need I don't think I was aware I even had"  James Van Osdol show, Steve Dahl Network.  Hear Ami's interview with James at this link:  VanOsdol  (12.6.2012):  

"Saraiya's upcoming "Soundproof Box," showcases the performer's creative energy with intensity. Saraiya's vintage cabaret sound is drama in bold relief, swinging from playful to maudlin in a single measure." Jessica Hopper, Chicago Tribune  

"Ami Saraiya conjures up the kind of Old World Europhilia that any cabaret-pop songwriter worth her kazoo solo should. But the Chicago-based artist also differentiates herself with elements of fragmented indie rock and some truly wild vocal contortionism. She knows when to straighten her delivery for fuller emotional impact, too, pulling her Left Bank torch songs and Balkan accordion hop back to the here and now. Saraiya celebrates the release of her latest winning full-length,Soundproof Box, produced and arranged by fellow traveler Mark Messing (Mucca Pazza)" Stephen Gosset, Flavorpill

"Imagine things you like about The Do, Coco Rosie, and Mark Berube (and, for entrenched aficianados of quirky folk, The McGarrigle Sisters). Inject a few teaspoons of Spirit and a hint of Sgt. Pepper-era Beatle-delia. You still wouldn’t have a handle on Saraiya’s idiosyncratic sonic art. I guess you just have to experience it."  Mary Leary, My Old Kentucky Blog

"Saraiya’s in full bluster on Soundproof Box, a head-on collision between Regina Spektor whimsy and Calexico. She waltzes in Paris and later in Cuernavaca, blows raspberries, and dabbles in lullaby melodies. The way she occasionally flutters her voice is as if she’s the only one in the room, sifting through stacks of old movies and imagining she’s been asked to join the chorus line. "  Steve Forstneger, Illinois Entertainer

"Chicago singer, multi-instrumentalist and band leader Ami Saraiya is no stranger to things theatrical and macabre. Her songs are often fantastical tales of tortured souls, hellish visions and misfortunate circus performers; while others are inspired by true events, just as haunting. With her band The Outcome, these songs come alive, gracefully waltzing between swing, cabaret, carnival, folk and jazz."  Jesse Menendez, Vocalo (Live at Studio 10)

"Back in 2009, a songstress emerged and elated music lovers withArchaeologist, a folk masterpiece full of tension and stunning orchestration. Ami Saraiya has a voice that portrays struggle, beauty, strangeness and strength all at once. Now in 2012, yet another unexpected pleasure has arrived from Ami Saraiya & The Outcome. This release is an assortment of vintage circus-like tunes accompanied by gritty yet vulnerable vocals."  Sara Fazio, Aquarian Weekly

"Ami Saraiya ventures to some dark places on her latest EP [Purging].  In just 3 songs, she portrays a circus performer tempting death (Hanging by A Thread), sings of stone-cold corpses and red-hot fires (Purging), and on Cattleprod Hands, turns out a bit of a nightmarish surrealism that sounds like it could have lept from the the brain of filmmaker David Lynch."  Andy Downing, Chicago Metromix.  

"Archaeologist is a brilliant record that bent many genres — chamber pop, blues, and waltzy-soul to name a few — into Saraiya’s magically surrealist songwriting. Her latest EP are also some of the best tracks she’s ever produced and, if they are an indication of what’s to come, a lead up to her most exciting LP yet." Joseph Montes, Loud Loop Press

"Intriguing, quirky, daring: these are only a few words of many that can describe Ami Saraiya's Archaeologist, an enthralling album.....No track disappoints, each offering its own beautiful surprise, yet what keeps constant throughout the album is Ami Saraiya's easily observed talent and mastery of both singing and orchestration, arguably in the leagues with other female artists such as Regina Spektor and St. Vincent. I denitely recommend Archaeologist for its originality and certainly soon-to-be classic sound." read full article by Sam Weber at widb.net. Album rating 5 out of 5

"When you deserve comparisons to Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf, you've got something going.  This local's a stunner." Matthew Pais, Chicago Metromix

"Saraiya sings with a beautiful, mystical, smoky voice that makes one feel like he is sitting in a night club across from a Humphrey Bogart character in a Film Noir movie...Experiencing Saraiya in concert is more than worth it for music lovers...."  read full article at Frequency Magazine

"Sultry musical temptations shudder and delight throughout this deep and dreamy gypsy diatribe. Buffeted about on lilting waltzes bring forth a grand display of vocal and rhythmic variety from then and now as well as here and there."  Andrew Frey, Maximum Ink. Album rating: 9/10

"With a sound that’s equal parts Feist, Billie Holiday, post-modern folk, Rufus Wainwright, and 60‘s pop, this album [Archaeologist] is wildly delightful and full of surprises. With a strong and nuanced voice, Saraiya is able to bring emotion and personality to every phrase, even when the lyrics involve time machines, judgment day, or kisses. Its warm production is heightened by layers of delicate aural pleasures, like subtle background vocals, surf guitars, or ethereal violins or pedal steel guitar. It's all very beautiful, well-crafted, and excellently mixed. Good stuff all around."  - Peter Swenson, editor, CD baby
 
"Saraiya’s simultaneously smooth and sultry singing voice will tickle your ears and make you giggle just a bit while it tugs at your heartstrings.....an aural temptress, a siren with a jazz lounge-worthy voice accompanied by piano, guitar, upright bass and plenty more.  It's the lovely sounds that emerge from Saraiya herself that grab the listener’s attention first, and then you’re hooked.  Give in to Ami, you'll be happier." -Sean at Wounded Jukebox
 

"I don’t invoke names like Edith Piaf and Billie Holiday lightly, but I also don’t come across voices anywhere near that caliber very often. You’ve just got to hear Ami Saraiya to believe it. She’s able to pull emotional strings across the musical spectrum: her cabaret is romantic, her blues gritty, and her rock downright sinister. The orchestration is exquisite, with occasional strings, muted trumpet, guitar, and heavy doses of accordion. You can’t help but be swept off your feet by this album [Arcaheologist]." - Jeff Pinzino, Casual Listening

"Saraiya's album Archaeologist proves that she can legitimately shred on the squeezebox while wrapping herself up in sparse, elegant orchestration (saw, sousaphone, muted trumpets, strings) and minor-key hints of Old World atmosphere. Sometimes she manages to push the sound in more unexpected directions, rocking it up with a surly vocal on "Memphis Train" and quietly letting some tension creep into the swooning prettiness of "Up Down & Charmed...." -  A.V. Club

 "Ami Saraiya has one of those voices that gives you a bit of pause when you first hear it because it seems that so few vocalists truly have that special something that can turn heads on their own." Aaron Coleman, Almost Cool

“Ami Saraiya's enigmatic and hard to pin down sound which is alternately sultry and alluring throughout this impressive album [Cryptomnesia]” - Jim DeRogatis, Chicago Sun-Times

"If you took Billie Holiday, added a little Lhasa, some Bjork, and a smattering of Tom Waits (just to taste), you’d have a vague idea of what Ami Saraiya’s voice sounds like. It’s full-bodied and playful, edgy and lithe; it roars and growls, belts and thrashes, and, every so often, purrs. It settles on no particular mood for more than a few seconds, continually rousing the ears with its contortionist capabilities... Because of their epic, mythic elements and Saraiya's conscious tapping of various historical genres at once, her songs radiate with the energy of some treasured long-lost thing rediscovered." — Kate Steele, CokeMachineGlow.com

Ami Saraiya has a torch singer quality reminiscent of both Billie Holliday (in sound and attitude) and Nico (attitude only); and the music is mostly rickety, ethereal, Old World and acoustic….Saraiya’s voice really does grab the imagination.”
- 75orless.com