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

Track Of The Day: Soho Rezanejad – ‘Half The Shore’

Uncompromising is a word that’s used to describe a number of musicians, but rarely does it seem truer than with Danish artist, composer and playwright Soho Rezanejad. Digging through her back-catalogue, both under her own name and that of her alter-ego, Angeles, is like uncovering a series of art installations crossed with epic movie soundtracks – as daunting, impressive and overpowering as a mountain range.

Born in New York City before growing up in Copenhagen, Rezanejad seems to carry all manner of influences in her work to date – from the synth orchestrals of Vangelis, the no-quarter given vocals of Nico, and the industrial, goth and post-punk sounds of various British acts of the 1980s. That sense of movement and diverse influences is also reflected in her latest album Perform and Surrender – to be released by the artist’s own Silicone Records in December – which results from a series of performances in Copenhagen, Vienna, Helsingør, Munich, Montreal, Toronto, St. Petersburg, Tromsø and Nantes across 2018 and 2019.

‘Half The Shore’, taken from Perform and Surrender, actually offers a notable change from Rezanejad’s previous work. Opening with a minute of strummed guitar, and gently picked notes that echo in an alt.country style, this is a far more approachable piece than perhaps anything Rezanejad has released before. The voice that follows is shot through with a raw balladic quality.

“Love without trust is a river without water”, she sings, “so don’t leave me”. In a sense, this is old in style and emotion, made new; an artist seeking a brave new front in more antiquated fashions. According to Rezanejad herself, the album was taken from “small scores, bits of stage direction, with performances special to each…” As this suggests, there is the hint of something slightly off-the-cuff to ‘Half The Shore’, not least in the vocalising that teems through the track’s instrumentation like sunlight through mist, around the 2 minute 40 mark. That said, and despite a sensibility that it is perhaps more organic than many of the songs on Rezanejad’s previous LPs, there is still a story being told here, and this is still a soundtrack, of sorts. “I lost someone very dear to me at the time” says Soho Rezanejad of the creation of Perform and Surrender, “All things…resembled a testimony of life and death”. 

An album that is bathed in the rumination that follows loss, ‘Half The Shore’ is one of two tracks that prominently feature strings – the other is the preceding track, ‘Absence’, a violin-led elegy – and both sit at the album’s centre. Nature too, is hidden in spaces within the tracks: the songs of birds appear just at the close of ‘Half The Shore’ as it segues into ‘Hera’, for one example, quite literally dovetailing with but also acting in optimistic opposition to the album’s recurring aspect of mourning.

And what of that title too, just what is ‘Half The Shore’. Evoking images of cliffs crumbling and land being part-swallowed by the sea, the cataclysm that is ongoing but not completed. And yet in the phrase too is optimism – a sense of returning to land, a glimpse of something firm to come back to. You get the impression that, with Soho Rezanejad, there are no obvious or easy answers.

 

Perform And Surrender, the upcoming album from Soho Rezanejad, is out 4th December via Silicone Records.

John McGovern
@etinsuburbiaego

LISTEN: Susanna – ‘The Dancing Snake’

In a stunning and sorrowfully emotional unfolding it seems unjust to describe ‘The Dancing Snake’ the latest offering from Norwegian artist Susanna, as anything but a treasure.

Inspirited by the ghost of the late poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-67), Susanna brings the cynical gaze of a wandering civilian reflecting upon the universe around him to her majestic songwriting. With a captivating performance of dark, velvet-like piano, ‘The Dancing Snake’ and its shivering essence seems to rotate through the soreness of Baudelaire’s historic perspective.

Floating above the instrumental, Susanna’s voice emerges ‘The Dancing Snake’ to move in modern times with a fluttering vocal dreamscape that is anchored to the earth by its ringing chords and escapist lyrical content. Images from “I breathe the tang of the ocean / in the deeps of your hair”, to “my dreaming soul casts off and sets its course for distant skies”, take Susanna’s listeners on this strange fantastical journey where they are whisked away to hear the harmonious marriage between immaculate musicianship and storytelling.

‘The Dancing Snake’ is a skeletal arrangement of a tune that needs no more than itself. With early influences, from the earnest Bob Dylan to the more contemporary Mothers, Susanna has thrown her work into a blender – derived only from the best of folk, classical and art – and created an exquisite soundscape. ‘The Dancing Snake’ is an exhibition in itself, of impressionism and the pondering experience of being alive.

Baudelaire & Piano, the upcoming album from Susanna, is set for release 11th September via SusannaSonata.

Jill Goyeau
@jillybxxn

Photo Credit: Martin Rustad Johansen

 

PREMIERE: Kama Vardi – ‘These Days’

Having spent a nomadic youth travelling, experimenting and creating, Tel Aviv based artist Kama Vardi has released a stream of solo material to much acclaim, and has now announced a brand new album, set for release this Autumn.

Taken from the album, new single ‘These Days’ may be a cover of the Nico classic, but it showcases Vardi’s unique sparkling majesty. Maintaining all the beguiling allure of the original, this rendition oozes a captivating mysticism as the shimmering splendour of Vardi’s distinctive vocals and the gentle lilting melodies create a soothing, poignant lullaby. A strikingly beautiful moment of much-needed tranquility at a time when we need it the most.

Of the decision to cover ‘These Days’, Vardi explains:

“‘These Days’ – no longer a gambler, a talker, a lover. It is a song of a woman who had great adventures that left her standing humble, wide eyed and weary in front of the rest of her life, a feeling I was familiar with from a young age.

Filmed at a small countryside studio in the middle of nowhere, watch the charmingly comforting video for ‘These Days’ now:

Moonticket, the upcoming album from Kama Vardi, is out 27th November via Bread For Eskimos Records.

Mari Lane
@marimindles