From insisting on opening for Aerosmith to constantly searching for new sounds, Israeli rocker Gal De Paz is not one to back down from a challenge. So when whispers of a third studio album began to float about the Israeli indie scene, The Paz Band’s lead vocalist “canceled life for a month,” locked herself in isolation and dove right into the challenge at hand.
The result is unlike anything the 31-year-old musician has produced to date. Supply & Demand, released digitally on December 7, is deeply intimate, painstakingly honest and dangerously devourable. Rather than ignore their natural, old-school rock & roll flavors, The Paz Band incorporated them on their third album. This newfound search for meaning is a 10-track sampler of styles, instruments and arrangements – a lavish feast for hungry listeners.
“Of course, I love the screaming and the craziness and the rock & roll rawness of it all. I’ll never give that up,” De Paz admits. “But I needed something more, something different.”
The artist’s craving for freshness takes off in the album’s opening track, “Thoughts,” which is powered by disoriented whispers meant to mimic the innermost thoughts she wakes to everyday. While in the past she has used music to work through breakups and other sensitive issues, this time around the seemingly hard-shelled De Paz invites her listeners on a journey through her internal world, a world where anything goes.
“These whispers are like a busy highway. In fact, the entire album travels this highway,” she says.
Early in the process De Paz made a conscious decision to allow a chance to every little idea that entered her mind – whether technical or contextual – to come to fruition “without judgment.”
She views the final product as somewhat of a concept album. While motifs such as love pop up in multiple forms, certain songs belong to their own topical universe. For example, she sings to the shining light of her ex-boyfriend in “Never Far” and eventually croons about love in a broader sense.
One such instance is “Old Bag of Sand,” which seems to enter a more political sphere. De Paz sings of a world that is “Ticking all the time / The leaders weakening their tribes / Our hopes to live in peace / They’re going down the drain.”
When asked about the political nature of the album’s third track, De Paz firmly states, “I do have a lot of opinions on the subject, but I do not see myself as a political artist. I try to write about myself and about what’s bothering me outside of myself.”
DE PAZ ALSO admits that the subject of politics has started to bother her more than before. When asked if she believes music has the power to instill change, she answers, “I do, but with individual people. I don’t think that this is the generation of big coups. I don’t think there is going to be a big revolution now, because the world works very differently and most people are too comfortable with the plate they are handed, especially in Israel.
“I think that we have the power to inspire people for change and we have the power to give power to other people.” The local rock icon recently performed at a protest against violence toward women. If her name can draw a crowd, she says, she is happy to use her music to help any cause she can.
As strong advocates for music from one of the most revolutionary eras of the 20th century, Supply & Demand is as much about the ‘60s and ‘70s as it is about the “now,” something De Paz says has been missing from the band’s previous albums.
“I can feel the now and the then, the past and the present,” says De Paz. “It’s usually hard for me, but this time I am able to sit down and enjoy the album like a listener. So I feel like we’ve achieved all of our goals.”
With Supply & Demand now available to the public, the natural next step is an album release show. And when it comes to the cream of the Tel Aviv music crops, there is only one place worth booking: The Barby.
Just after New Year’s, The Paz Band will take to the stage and perform their entire new album, except for “Narcotic Heart,” which is simply too hard to reproduce without its defining string section. “I wanted [the track] to be somewhat like ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ so there simply isn’t any other way to do it,” De Paz explains.
The rest of the album, however, has been adapted for the show. The band will be supported by four backup singers, and produced by Omri Skop and Nir Horovitz, whose local group Plastic Soup will open the show.
De Paz makes one final statement before boarding her El Al flight to Canada for a special Toronto-based project: “We really put our hearts and souls into this album. We’re very excited to see and hear how our audience feels about it. While there’s always more to share, most of what I have to say is in the album. At the end of the day, it is an album about love. The more I live, the more I discover that love is the number-one thing. If I had a huge villa, I would invite everyone at the Barby over to my place after the show. So please, love each other, love yourselves. Spread that love.”
The Paz Band will perform at The Barby in Tel Aviv on January 3 before starting their album release tour. For more information visit thepazband.com.
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