ALBUM: Noga Erez – ‘KIDS’

A stylish, swaggering collection of songs that explore personal growth, morality and what it means to disconnect from, or reconnect with the world around you, Tel-Aviv producer & pop renegade Noga Erez has shared her second album KIDS. Released via City Slang, Erez has worked closely alongside her collaborative & life partner Ori Rousso to create this razor sharp, intensely catchy record that proves she’s got the musical mileage she sings of.

Since the release of her acclaimed debut album Off The Radar in 2017, Erez & Rousso have been busy working on the songs that form the tracklist for KIDS. “These are songs about what we inherit from past generations, how we pass things on,” Erez explains. “KIDS talks about humanity’s potential for both beauty and destruction.” Through her witty lyrics, slick production and commanding beats, Erez blazes a unique trail through these binary opposites, acknowledging the darkness along with the light.

Opening the record with a sample of her Mother’s voice exhaling “Kids these days,” Erez hits the ground running with the triumphant sounding ‘CIPI’. Despite admitting to feeling depressed and pessimistic throughout the track, the joy of the lyric “You think you are the boss of me / when most the time, you’re my bitch” centres Erez as the ringmaster of this provocative, intuitive showcase of sound. On ‘VIEWS’, Erez & Rousso stylishly explore the absurdity of paying for exposure on social media. Collaborating with LA-based hip-hop artist Reo Cragun, her clear vocals glide over slick beats and pop hooks to create an infectiously powerful anti-fakeness anthem.

When we interviewed Erez back in 2019, she spoke of dealing with an “inner violence” and how her art helps her deal with her own internal conflicts. These sentiments resonate deeply after listening to ‘You So Done’. It’s a resilient, emotionally charged offering that delves into her memories of a toxic relationship that she started having un-nerving flashbacks about. “What a joke, what a joke you made me / What’s a Queen to a Joker, tell me?” Erez taunts over spacious beats and warped electronics. She has transformed this inner violence into a powerful lament that radiates with artistic confidence – exposing the chinks in her emotional armour with a poignant, polished flair.

On the infectiously upbeat ‘End of the Road’, Erez explores the thrill of the unknown via her commanding beats and slick rap verses, casually shrugging off the tight grip of human mortality. Following track ‘Bark Loud’ sees this “underdog” pack a serious rap punch with her effortless flow, whilst the trippy, jazz infused beats on eponymous track ‘KIDS’ featuring San Francisco MC BLIMES are intoxicating. Erez & Rousso’s spirited duet ‘Story’ explores the way our personal history can affect our behaviour towards those we love. The pair take life’s challenges on the chin together (quite literally in the accompanying video) and shine a spotlight on the grit and the joy that’s needed to maintain a close relationship.

The free-flowing ‘Knockout’ smoulders with Erez’s formidable charisma, and contrasts beautifully with the buoyant ‘NO news on TV’. “I don’t wanna look at my phone anymore” she muses in the track’s opening line, fatigued by the constant flow of bad news. But rather than encouraging listeners to switch off from the world, Erez highlights that this apathy is an unhealthy privilege, and one that many communities do not have. The fierce sounding, politically charged ‘Fire Kites’ melts into the brooding, deceptively sweet ‘Candyman’, before the record closes with the soft sounding, aptly named ‘Switch Me Off’.

A truly impressive record that spotlights her talent as a producer, vocalist, MC and performer; Noga Erez’s new album KIDS pulses with an authentic, unique energy. Erez & her partner Rousso have created an uncompromising musical force that ignites the ear drums, and transforms the personal and political into a formidable piece of art.

 

Follow Noga Erez on bandcampInstagramTwitterFacebook & Spotify

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Noga Erez ft. ROUSSO – ‘Story’

A spirited exploration of the way our personal history affects our behaviour when we’re in a relationship, Noga Erez has shared her latest single ‘Story’. Lifted from her highly anticipated second album KIDS, which is set for release via City Slang on 26th March, the Tel Aviv-based musician works closely alongside her creative & life partner Ori Rousso on this slick new offering, which shows the pair taking life’s challenges on the chin together.

Erez & Rousso have been busy working on new music since the release of her debut album Off The Radar in 2017. In 2020 & 2021, they released a string of superb singles including ‘NO News On TV’, ‘You So Done’ and ‘End Of The Road’, and now the duo are set to blaze their unique trail once again on upcoming LP KIDS. “These are songs about what we inherit from past generations, how we pass things on,” Erez explains about the album. “KIDS talks about humanity’s potential for both beauty and destruction.” This outlook is epitomised on new single ‘Story’, which shines a spotlight on both the grit and the glee that comes from being in a long term relationship.

“Everyone brings their past experiences to the relationship even if things are great. Sometimes past situations come in and take over,” Erez eplains about the new track. “ROUSSO is my partner in music as well as my partner in life. This is the first time we tell a story about our relationship in a song and video. It’s a song about a couple fighting and how, in that situation, sometimes what you hear the other person say is not what they actually said. The making of this video was a 10-day couples therapy session for us. As we rehearsed the pretend fighting and martial arts moves we knew that, at times, one of us would get punched just a little too hard. It was so intense and interesting to live in this world, where our relationship comes alive in the most physical way.”

Accompanied by a stunning new set of visuals directed by long-time collaborator Indy Hait, ‘Story’ is another witty, playful offering from this unique duo who have a instinct for crafting intensely memorable alt-pop tunes.

Watch the video for ‘Story’ below.

Pre-order new album KIDS here.

Noga Erez has also announced two shows to be live streamed on 1st & 2nd April.

Follow Noga Erez on bandcampInstagramTwitterFacebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Shai Franco

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Anna B Savage – ‘A Common Turn’

An exquisite unravelling of the self that’s layered with melancholy, joy and wit, Anna B Savage‘s debut album A Common Turn is a compelling collection of deftly crafted songs that enrapture the ears. The London-born, Dublin-based songwriter has channelled her feelings of grief and insecurity into a confident and cohesive record, cauterizing the emotional wounds of her past and taking charge of her future.

Released via City Slang and produced by William Doyle, Savage’s debut LP is a raw yet polished affair that brims with her eccentric observations about love, growth, working “really fucking hard” and most surprisingly, her admiration of birds. Having had a fascination with them since childhood, Savage uses birds as a visual motif throughout the record; their recurrence acting as warnings, epiphanies or reassurances that eloquently shift Savage’s narrative perspective.

The skittish, evocative opener ‘A Steady Warmth’ bleeds into the congenial acoustic guitar strums on ‘Corncrakes’, her confessional lyrics bringing her vivid inner monologue to life. Savage admits she doesn’t “feel things as keenly” anymore and struggles to break relatable bad habits: “I want to text you / but it’d mean I’d thought about you.” Her willingness to explore this rocky emotional territory is epitomised on ‘Dead Pursuit’.

An affecting, defiant ballad that sees her tear herself “limb from limb”, Savage penned this track whilst grappling with imposter syndrome after the success of her 2015 debut EP, which caught the attention of Father John Misty and Jenny Hval who she went on to tour with. It’s humbling to hear Savage lay her insecurities bare and comforting to see her desires for quick fixes – “I’m dying my hair and cutting out sugar” – didn’t stop her from fleshing out the sounds on her beguiling debut record.

The urgent line “I want us to thrive” is delivered with deft conviction on ‘BedStuy’, whilst the serendipitous creation of ‘Baby Grand’ and its forthcoming accompanying short film – which Anna worked on with ex-partner Jem Talbot – is “an exploration of the how and why some people just crawl into your heart and make a home there.” She displays the sheer power of her vocal range on ‘Two’ amidst raw guitar twangs and unexpected jagged electronics. They punctuate the track, as Savage sits in pensive reflection in her childhood bedroom, fearing she will “never amount to anything.” She lets the walls echo her doubts back at her, pushing her emotional resilience to its limit.

The album’s title track ‘A Common Tern’ is a brooding exploration of Savage’s need to be free from the shackles of a pernicious romantic relationship. The track shares its name with a seabird, the sight of which prompted Savage to re-think her relationship while on a fishing trip with her ex. These startling moments of realisation are tentatively placed throughout the record, with following track ‘Chelsea Hotel #3’ showing listeners just how empowering a break from your past can be.

It’s an intense, exquisite celebration of female pleasure and how Savage has learned to dismiss the damaging tropes associated with it. Fans of Leonard Cohen will be familiar with the opening lyric – “He was giving me head on my unmade bed” – as it’s paraphrased from Cohen’s track ‘Chelsea Hotel #2’. Through tentative guitar sounds, revealing lyrics and measured vocals, Savage subverts Cohen’s storytelling, re-writing the narrative to rid herself of shame and confusion. When she sings “I will learn to take care of myself” it’s with genuine, unfaltering conviction.

Savage’s lyrics continue to ripple with an earnest beauty on ‘Hotel’. The image of the red foam left in her bloodied mouth after vigorously brushing her teeth is strikingly poetic. “I turn the big lights off / I put my headphones in” she sings, indirectly instructing listeners the best way in which to let her sounds sink into their consciousness. The stripped back, bare nature of closing track ‘One’ is a potent wish to be “strong and fine.” “Jesus I’m too insecure for this / for him to undress me then take the piss” Savage exhales, grappling with emotional sore spots and physical unease with ones self. She handles feelings of shame and melancholy with impressive tact and sensitivity, healing open wounds by confronting her vulnerabilities head on.

“For me, ‘a common turn’ is those moments of decision where you think ‘I’m not taking this anymore,” Savage explains about the title of her record. “Whether it’s the way someone else is treating you or the what you’re treating yourself.” Her poetic refusal to be erased by the pain of her own experiences is what makes listening to A Common Turn so compelling. Savage’s patient, captivating soundscapes traverse intensely personal terrain, and what a privilege it is to be allowed into this vast, wildly honest territory of hers.

Listen to A Common Turn on bandcamp or Spotify

Follow Anna B Savage on TwitterInstagram & Facebook for more updates

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Noga Erez – ‘End of the Road’

Exploring the thrill of the unknown through commanding beats and defiant lyrics, Noga Erez has shared her latest single ‘End of the Road’. Lifted from her highly anticipated second album KIDS, which is set for release via City Slang on 26th March, the Tel-Aviv based musician shrugs off the tight grip of human mortality on this catchy, sharply produced new offering.

Erez has been busy working alongside creative partner Ori Rousso since the release of her debut album Off The Radar in 2017. 2020 saw the pair release a string of superb singles including ‘NO News On TV’ and ‘You So Done’, but now the duo are set to blaze their unique trail once more on upcoming record KIDS. “These are songs about what we inherit from past generations, how we pass things on,” Erez explains about the album. “KIDS talks about humanity’s potential for both beauty and destruction.” Erez’s treatment of these binary opposites on tracks like ‘End of the Road’ makes for compelling listening.

Accompanied by a slick set of visuals directed by long-time collaborator Indy Hait, the song is a charged, slickly produced alt-pop gem that dares listeners to face their fears head on. “Walking towards the unknown with a smile. That’s what I wanted this video to be all about,” Erez reveals. “Nothing about this life is as predicted, so why am I so afraid of it? I wanted to inspire people to take a look at the magical potential of the unknown nature of life. I believe the relationship with what’s beyond our control needs to be changed. The fear of it can become anticipation. The video doesn’t show an all-optimistic journey. It shows a complex one. The beauty of being completely innocent at one moment, from militant to vulnerable and then in control. That’s true to the journey we all go through, and what this video represents for me.”

Watch the video for ‘End of the Road’ below.

Pre-order Noga Erez’s upcoming album KIDS here.

Follow Noga Erez on bandcamp, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Dudi Hasson

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut