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Rosi Golan on Making her album Lead Balloon and more

Rosi Golan’s style of music is as richly varied as her background. She’s lived in Israel, Germany, France, and America, and as a singer she’s able to effortlessly lift her voice from a bedtime whisper to soulful notes. Three years have passed since The Drifter and the Gypsy, her debut album, was released, and Family Records has just put out her follow-up, Lead Balloon. I chatted with Rosi on the phone a few days ahead of her record release show at Bowery Ballroom on September 6.

How did you have to adjust your writing style after your debut album since you were expected to tour and prepare for the next album?

You know what, I didn’t actually adjust it, which is probably why it took me a while. I haven’t really found it easy to write on the road, so I still do the same things that I did before, which is write in one place, whether it’s home or one of the other places where I like to write when I travel, you know, L.A. or Nashville or London. But yeah, I didn’t really have to adjust the way I write. It just took me a bit longer since I wasn’t able to write on the road.

Lead Balloon casts a much wider net sound-wise than The Drifter and the Gypsy does. Why is that?

You know what, I don’t know. It wasn’t really a conscious thing. The Drifter and the Gypsy was a culmination of the first seven years of my writing, but towards the end I’d already started tossing my songs in a different direction. I think, you know, over the years as I’ve been in the music industry, I’ve listened to a lot of different kinds of music and gained different kinds of influences. I think these probably show in my music, and I think that anybody who continues to educate themselves on things will develop and change their sound. That’s probably what happened.

Do you find it challenging to reproduce these new songs on the road since they have a lot of elements like different instruments and so many people who collaborated on them?

Yeah, definitely.  It’s definitely a different thing when you come to see me on the road. I play acoustic. You’re going to see the songs the way they were written, in their true form at the beginning, and then when you listen to the record, you’re going to hear where they ended up. When I started touring after making the album there were a few adjustments made from when they were first written, but for the most part what you’re getting is the songs the way they were written in the first place.

You have a lot of collaborations on Lead Balloon. How did those come about, and which ones are you most excited about?

Do you mean writing-wise or singing-wise?

Both. I mean, the two that I really liked were Gary Lightbody and Iain Archer. I think they’re both really talented, so it was great to hear them on your record.

Yeah. As for Gary, I’m a really big fan of all the Snow Patrol stuff and Gary’s voice, so it was an awesome, awesome thing to have Gary come sing on the record. I was really grateful that he did it, so I’m definitely excited about that. Iain and I, we wrote together on my last record, so it was great to write with him on this record and also have him sing on it. We do a lot of work together. A lot of the collaborations on this record writing-wise were a lot of the same collaborators that I worked with on the first record, so I formed relationships with certain people. When you feel that chemistry, I like to keep working with them.

What was the most challenging part of making a sophomore record besides finding the time to write?

You know, I think for me it was just a mental thing. It’s scary because you spend like forever making your first record, without even realizing it. The second time around, it’s a lot more conscious because you know that you’re trying to put together an album. You can almost kind of give yourself writers block or scare yourself. I know that nobody was putting pressure on me, but I was definitely putting a lot of pressure on myself to get music out. As more time went by, I was afraid I was letting too much time go by, but at the same time I never wanted to lose the integrity of what I was doing, so I never wanted to rush anything out. I wanted to make sure that I loved every single song. But I think that putting a second record out is stressful because the first time you just fall into things and you have so long to write things that you feel like you’re not going to make a record until you’re ready anyway. But the second time if you have fans and you have people who are waiting, if you’re like me anyway, I ended up putting a lot of pressure on myself.

Is there anything else you want to add or let people know about Lead Balloon?

I’m really excited to share it with people. It’s a really, really personal record. I feel like it’s a really personal record.

For more information on Rosi Golan visit her website http://rosigolan.com/ and catch her live tonight at Bowery Ballroom.

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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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