Kris Esfandiari the mind behind ‘Celestial Blues’, King Woman’s [@kngwmn] beautifully Dark Metal album

Words by: Andrea Susarrey

The Doom-Metal band King Woman just dropped their mesmerizingly dark Celestial Blues project and it is one you can’t forget. 

King Woman was formed and is fronted by Kris Esfandiari an Iranian woman and somebody not typically expected to be making an impact in the world of Metal. Yet she is and she brings herself unashamedly to delivering that project. On Celestial Blues we see her bringing that heritage into “Bohgz”, the third track on the album – “Boghz” being an Iranian word that can’t be exactly translated in English but describes a melancholy so deep that can’t be expressed in words.

Already receiving quite a bit of attention, Celestial Blues encapsulates many themes that Esfandiari has played with in her past like the biblical archetypes of good and evil. The album follows somewhat of a linear narrative that traverses the depths of hell, but Kris’ lyrics always serve as the rope to guide herself to a place of empowerment through it. Kris also appears to be talking to God through Celestial Blues, and simultaneously she’s speaking to herself. She experiments with the idea of embodying a fallen angel, ripped from grace, and facing the cruelty and mockery of life on Earth. 

Her iconic video to “Morning Star”, which she directed herself, encapsulates the mood and setting of the album in full. Across the video’s one take style we see Esfandiari standing under a spotlight, her makeup joker-esque and distorting her features as well as wounds on her shoulder blades where her angel wings have been ripped out. The camera smoothly rotates around her, exponentially speeding up with the crescendo of intensity from the song while she sings to the camera. She smokes a cigarette in her dinner jacket throughout, almost as if to say “F*** it I’m here, this is what it is.”

King Woman is only one of Kris Esfandiari’s multiple music projects, with each a completely different identity and genre and operating simultaneously. There’s Miserable, Sugar High, and NGHTCRWLR, to name a few, with them covering everything from her observations on love, synth driven R&B and industrial 808 inspired sounds respectively. She is a multidisciplinary artist that is able to shift moods and perspectives whilst creating continuous lineages of work through her variety of musical projects. She’s a true artist breaking the surface after years of creating an incredibly eclectic body of work, Celestial Blues is a treat that exemplifies that process perfectly. 

Tell me about your musical projects, are they all alive in your head simultaneously?

Yeah, it’s a lot. They’re definitely alive and well, driving me insane sometimes. I go back and forth with whatever is speaking to me at that moment.

How is that process for you?

It can be overwhelming, but I work on music every day. I really love music, it’s pretty crazy. After all these years, and after all I’ve been through, being in the music industry is not for the weak. I still love music which says a lot you know? 

The “Morning Star” video just scared the sh*t out of me.

I know, I’ve been getting really mixed reviews about it. People either says it scares them or that it’s the most beautiful thing they’ve ever seen

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It’s definitely both! Tell me about the making of the music video.

It was a 1 take video – we did 11 takes! There wasn’t a huge direction I just went for it really. My dear friend Nedda Afsari also helped me and took the photos for the release and we definitely collaborated on it. 

Make sure to check out Celestial Blues from King Woman which you can stream below and stay up to date with Kris Esfandiari and her other projects via Instagram here

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