Even if you don't speak any of the languages Niyaz (Farsi for "yearning") reference on Sumud (Arabic for "steadfastness"), it will make sense to learn that the group's third album is an exploration of religious oppression around the world. A pensiveness that transcends linguistics pervades Sumud. Each track here swells and sways with thoughtful Middle Eastern pop. Melodies and instrumentation culled from wide-ranging classical and spiritual traditions (Sufi, Indian, Afghani, among others) are cut with shimmering electro-beats and grounded by Azam Ali's mournful crooning. Gorgeous stuff.