Rosi Golan is one of those NYC musicians that I knew of but hardly ever got to see live in my time there. I was always somewhere else - often a different city - when she was on stage. So I didn't know what to expect of her new album when I got the promo email. Happily, it's a great album with some fine songs, fine singing and fine everything else. Indie Sounds got the background on it before Rosi departs across the pond.
Photo by Deborah Lopez
Indie Sounds: You just released your album Lead Balloon. Tell us about the songs and the title. You co-wrote with a few people. How did you meet them and what was that experience like?
Rosi Golan: The record officially comes out September 27th. The title came from one of the songs on the record. I think to me Lead Balloon just embodies the feel of the record. The lyric in it "You're my love, you're my lead balloon" touches on both the heavy and light parts of the record. Lyrically this record is really in two minds.
As for the collaborations, I am happy to say the people involved in my co-writing process are people I call good friends, and most of them had collaborated on my last record. I think when it works, you should continue to cultivate and grow with the people you love creating with.
IS: And what's the story of making the album - where and when was it recorded, who produced, and who performed on it?
Rosi: I made the record in Los Angeles over the course of two months with Tony Berg. It was a wonderful and creative experience, I think we both learned a lot from each other. A lot of people actually contributed to the record, instrument wise. I was lucky enough to have some of my favorite singers and musicians lend a hand. Iain Archer sings on two songs that we wrote together Seeing Ghosts and A Lot Of Things, Dave Rawlings plays lead guitar on Flicker, and Gary Lightbody (from Snow Patrol) sings on Everything Is Brilliant with me.
IS: It's been released on Family Records. How did that collaboration happen, and what are you looking for from it? What can they do that Kickstarter can't?
Rosi: Family is a group of people that I have been friends with for a long time in NYC. I appreciate their work ethic and vision. When it came time to release this, I knew I needed some help, because even though I completely believe in DIY, and I prefer to be completely involved on every level, I was also getting overwhelmed and knew that if I wanted to expand, I would need to finally reach out.
Family holds so many of the same values and ideas about how to make this work in an ever changing and challenging business. These days there are so many things that go into keeping fans interested and engaged, and they are really good at that. And I call them friends, that is really important to me.
As for Kickstarter, I believe that is mostly a way to raise money, unless it does other things I am not aware of. And to be honest, I made this record on my own dime and then reached out for a label. So I am not sure that Kickstarter applies to this scenario. Although I know it's an amazing tool, and have definitely backed several people who were raising money in the past.
Buy Lead Balloon from Family Records.
[iTunes link coming September 27th]
IS: And for those that don't know you, what's the back story of Rosi Golan?
Rosi: The back story ... I started later than most. Didn't pick up a guitar until after high school. And I didn't know that I could sing until I picked up a guitar. Once I figured that out, I wrote my first song and after six weeks of playing and singing I performed at my first open mic. That night I knew this is what I wanted to do. I spent the next seven years writing songs for myself and for others, and then one day finally made my first record. I have been lucky enough to do what I love for a living since, and I am grateful for it every day.
IS: Now, the album is done and you just played a release party at the Bowery. How was the show, and what's the plan for touring?
Rosi: The album is done! And I am super excited for people to hear it. Playing Bowery Ballroom was amazing, it is hands down my favorite venue in the city. At the moment my next tour is in Europe, I have been wanting to play out there for a long time. While I love America, and touring in it, I am really excited to expand and play in new countries. Plus, what an amazing way to get to travel while doing what you love. I am hoping for another U.S. tour in the fall or coming spring.
IS: And what else is next on the musical agenda? What's the next big thing to check off?
Rosi: Honestly, I think if I can continue to make records and people continue to buy them, that is the biggest goal for me. To sustain this lifestyle and keep it going. And growing my touring career, because playing live is probably my favorite part apart from writing songs.