LP version. Sidestepping between Iran and Israel, singer and film star Liraz drops her new album, playing with past and present, where the role of women in society takes center stage. Taking cues from Iran's fiery and defiant female musical icons like Googoosh and Ramesh, Liraz's debut album Naz reimagines their fighting spirit from the '70s. She sings in Farsi and the influences from those Persian forebears, and Israeli producer Rejoicer provides the bounce of hip-hop and electronica. Raised in Tel Aviv in Israel, her parents are from Iran yet political circumstances have meant that she's never been able to visit. She has a successful career as an actor in both Israel and Hollywood, acting with the likes of Philip Seymour-Hoffman (A Late Quartet) and Naomi Watts (Fair Game), and has spent the past decade whilst on film set location, picking up Iranian music. Liraz's music has made her a beacon for a nascent movement around women's rights -- inside Iran and out. It was LA, around 2008, when she first heard music in a mold that pricked her preconceptions about the role of women in her parents' home country. It was in Googoosh's music that she first saw a public image of a female Iranian swaggering with confidence. In "Nozi Nozi", she prods at the idea of "noz". It alludes to an Iranian archetype of a sweetly-smiling wife, subtly trying to wrest what she wants out of her husband. The music itself flips the cultural reference points at its core too: a repeated, Persian string refrain, building up intensity in tandem with Liraz's vocals, is put in fresh light by a spartan, swaggering beat. A key part of her music has been bringing the influence of her forebears in line with a contemporary perspective. It's been ten years since her interest in Iranian music was first sparked as her travels gave space for her to hunt for musical discoveries. Several of the tracks are covers of Iranian artists, like "Hala Bavar" which is a version of one of Googoosh's songs. It has been meeting her producer Rejoicer, also based in Tel Aviv, which has helped bring the Naz project to life. Playing him the artists which were her reference points, and guiding him through Iran's gamut of traditional instruments, the chemistry between them was immediately obvious: it's made for the hypnotic, heavy-weighted style that gives her tracks a powerful directness.