Any Armenian music fan who’s from — or has lived in — Los Angeles has likely heard of (slash seen live) Palm of Granite. Conceived by singer/songwriter Raffi Semerdjian in 2007, the band’s sound melds progressive rock with a tinge of folk, creating the perfect mix of hard and soft. Some influences include Armenian folk artists like Maro Nalbandian and Hasmik Harutyunyan. What makes POG’s story even more beautiful is that Raffi’s wife, Meline Aleksanyan (who joined around 2010) plays the violin alongside her husband, lending an air of rockstar romance to the band’s narrative and sound. The rest of the members have changed through the years, but currently they include Alexander Hakopyan on bass and Vardan Paremuzyan (of popular Yerevan group The Bambir) on drums.
Raffi and Meline — who are both from LA — got married in Armenia in July of 2014, left back to the states for a while, then moved to Armenia together in March 2015. Since then, Palm of Granite has gained major popularity in Yerevan — so far they’ve played numerous live shows at local spots like Riverfest, Melrose, and The Venue. And just recently, the band was scouted by a producer and recorded their first set for Dar 21 TV station in Armenia — stay tuned for that performance, which will air sometime in October. In the meantime, you can watch some of POG’s shows on YouTube.