I know this sounds dumb but I am so so happy with this album, so proud of it. It took a long time to make- there was a record company merger to deal with and the journey was intense and emotional but eventually very enlightening. We had the honor of working with Mike Hedges, an amazing producer, famous for bands like “The Cure”, “The Beautiful South”, “Siouxie and the Banshees” and “Manic Street Preachers”.
Mike is a real phenomenon – a big, tall, red-headed Irishman with a heart to match – one of the sweetest, funniest people I've ever met. He loved the “demos”, took on the project and gave us wings. Mike used a combination of analogue recording and “Pro-Tools” manipulation, plus tons of the positive energy he's so good at generating to make this album what it is. Dave Anderson and Ian Grimble did most of the engineering, James Sanger did some baaaad programming, and Sally Herbert added cool string arrangements. The album was recorded and mixed in Tel-Aviv, London and Domfront, France. Mike lives out in Domfront and has a studio in his house- a very funky chateau full of strange objects, mirror balls and amazing food and wine (ooooh, lotsa wine!). every night at the “Motte Rouge” we would stuff our faces and laugh and bla bla about everything from royalty and peanuts to politics and hallucinatory substances. A great way to unwind. In the morning, I would get up early and run around the castle ruins at the top of the hill – the view was always breathtaking. Mike also has a beautiful family, Jane, Michael, Ethan and Aengus, that I fell in love with immediately.
The musicians on this album, together with Gil and myself,are Yaaki Levi on drums, Yorai Oron on bass, Gil Zohar on piano, Zohar Fresco on percussion and “The Brilliant Strings” ensemble . There are special guests on “Boker”, and “Beautiful That Way” (long list- please see album credits- you might have to buy the album- oh nooo! 🙂 ). We also did special stuff for the Spanish and French markets (you might have to fly to Madrid and Paris to get those versions! Ooooooh!..just kidding..).
We have a lot to share with you about the poetic content of this album, but we?ve decided to do it through the songs:
“If I Give You Everything” We live with the constant burden of trying to be worthy of love, as if love is a reward for being “good”, for doing the “right” thing. but what if we sing our inside out? “Would your feelings grow the more you know, would they disappear?” This is a cry for unconditional love. This is my song, as a human being and an artist, an emotion I believe is shared by many.
“Wrap It Up With Love” I have a good friend, Flor, who spent some time in India and came back full of light.His experience there had been very intense and we had long talks about his newly discovered inner peace and love. I was fascinated by the changes he had undergone but at the same time couldn't help thinking: wow, love peace, kindness,serenity? yeah, those are wonderful things that can help you find happiness? but don't we all know that? Isn't it obvious? And the answer I gave myself was, no, I guess it's not . We may know the answers deep inside but sometimes it's really hard bringing them to the surface. We need little reminders. That's what “Wrap It Up With Love” is all about.
“Explain the Night” My father is a scientist who loved explaining things to me. As a child, the notion that everything could be explained was my security blanket . Then I grew up and realized that rationality is only a thin protective shield against the “?truth” and the truth is that we have very limited answers. There's so much we just have to learn to accept. I think in seeking answers, we are so often simply asking for love.
“Can I Reach You” “Can I Reach You” is all about communication. We spend so much time trying to reach out, on all levels. we strive for love and understanding, for acceptance. We take planes and trains and satellites, we weave intricate “webs”, we go as fast as we can and faster still. Where is all this all leading to? What is the great hunger inside that leads us to crave for communication? How many times must we change and re-change ourselves to reach our goal? Can I reach you if I do this or that, if I wear this or that, if I'am something different? And then the key question: will I be happy? If I reach you -or myself- will that make me happy? What distance must we travel to find joy? I don?t have any answers, but I do have a wish: I do want to reach me, and you, but not by doing, not by changing. I want to reach by simply being.
“Long Coat In Winter” This is a song for my husband, whose soul has grown into mine. I want him to love me, believe in me and encourage me, yet trust me to lead. I want him to stay with me, and at the same time let me go.This is a lot to ask, when all I can offer is a long coat in winter. “Will you stay with me on thinning ice?” , the song asks. There is no answer, but the overwhelming emotion I feel whenever I sing this song is all the answer I need.
“Angel” Once, when we were playing a big arena, a girl waved frantically to me from the bleachers as I was walking off stage. When I approached, she threw down a small gift. It fell on the floor and when I picked it up I realized it was a beautiful little angel, but it?s wing had broken off. I said? Oh my God, an angel with a broken wing!? That's how the title was born. When I was writing the lyrics, I found myself thinking about all those people out there whom society has rejected, the poor and unattractive, the unadjusted misfits. Who are we to judge these people? I believe many of them have a light too bright for our eyes to see, so we often mistreat them. They are my “invisible angels” and this song is for them.
“Home-Made Religion” I once invented a little ritual for myself. It has to do with digital clocks and silent prayers, but it's my little secret so I can't disclose it (.. it is hidden in the lyrics of the song, though ). All I can say is that it's a lovely mixture of order and chaos. I realize we need symbols and rituals to help us stay focused on what's really important and iI respect all religions for supplying those rituals but I think our daily lives supply us with all the symbols we need in order to learn how to live. The stones and trees and animals, the evening news, every little thing is a lesson. All we need are opened eyes and hearts. That's my home-made religion.
“Again and Again” This song always chokes me up. It says everything about my journey through life. Again and again we strive for love, we try to be “good”, we do our best. We stumble and fall, make fools of ourselves, look like idiots, but we keep trying. I've made a lot of mistakes along the way, I've hurt and been hurt, crashed and crumbled, but I get up again every time. Though the road I've taken has not always lead me to where I thought it would, I've followed it with a passion and a strong will. I guess I will never change my way.
“Blue Touches Blue” Everything I need, strength, love, answers, music, singing my inside out, all these yearnings are concentrated in that point in the horizon where blue touches blue. There, depth and height, sadness and joy, hope and despair meet. This meeting point of sky and sea where rational touches irrational is in my mind the birthplace of all creativity.
“Haunted” We all carry our ghosts with us. Sometimes looking them in the eyes, diving fearlessly into the depth of emotion that gave them life, is the best way to exorcise them. In my case, when they finally give in, they leave a song in their wake.
“Carefully” Can I be impulsive and careful at the same time? I tell myself, for sadness? sake, try to be, because things are so fragile. As children we?re told – “Hold on tight, with both hands!”. As adults we tend to let go, and the results can be so painful. When I think of what a mess we've made of our world, how cruel we can be to each other, I feel a strong need to cry out for awareness, for tenderness and caring. It starts close and personal, my first cry is to myself. It streams outwards from there.
“Dala Dala” Funny that these songs come one after the other on the album? The decision was musical but on deeper reflection, there is a strong lyrical connection between “Carefully” and “Dala Dala”. The heroine of this song, a woman in Yemen a hundred years ago, was dealing with the same conflict?impulsive and careful at the same time, she has a lover, but warns him to approach carefully. The difference is that here, we feel the inevitable tragedy approaching. It is only the song itself, sung by a descendant of that same brave woman, which is her final victory, her ultimate freedom. This song is my tribute to my Yemenite heritage, dedicated lovingly to Rachel Nini, my grandmother.
“Morning” (“Boker”) This bright energetic song is full of modern Israeli vibe?traffic jams in Tel-Aviv, chocolate milk in the desert, car stickers ,daily news, darbukkah and “The Beatles”.. J.
“The Beauty of That” Look into the eyes of a stranger. Concentrate on the light reflected in them and try to imagine that light as a doorway into their universe. It is a strong and bonding experience. Look at the beauty of that experience. I think of it as a way of freeing ones self from prejudice, fear and apprehension, and there is great joy in that freedom.
Bonus track: “Beautiful That Way” The movie “La Vita e Bella” by Roberto Benigni is one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. It made me laugh and cry uncontrollably and it’s haunting beauty stayed with me months after I’d seen it. I think Benigni?s great achievement in this film is in showing that happiness, optimism and hope are strong survival forces that even the horrors of the Holocaust could not eradicate. Israel is living proof of that concept, and that’s why the movie affected us so deeply. Needless to say, when we were approached to write lyrics for one of Nicola Piovanni’s beautiful melodies from the award winning soundtrack, we were overjoyed and put our hearts lovingly into the task. the result is this song. When Benigni himself called to say he was crazy about it, we nearly had a heart-attack. It is a true honor for all of us to have a small part in this great masterpiece