THINGS are getting pretty busy and hectic…
for InAbell right now. The Israel-based artist talks to me about her single, Break Your Fall, and the inspiration behind the song. I ask what sort of themes and ideas we will get from her E.P., Humble Wishes – she discusses inspiration and artists that have compelled her.
I was excited to know whether any gigs were approaching and what InAbell gets up to away from music; if there are any new acts we need to look out for – she reveals her ambitions for the coming months.
Hi, InAbell. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi (smiles). Things are pretty intense. I'm working on a second album while the first E.P. is still not fully-released - so my days are filled with music creating and sharing. It's interesting.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Gladly. Music was always a major part of my life but, to a certain point, I was more a consumer of music than a creator. I was introduced to music at an early age, even though my parents don't work in the field. My taste has varied through the years between different genres. I always loved singing and I find it beautiful that its part of our natural built-in system.
Us human beings like chocolate; the attraction of sex and that love of music. Singing means sharing my voice and offering the listener the chance to connect with me. I always feel a sort of intimacy with people who tell me that they have heard me singing.
Tell me about the track, Break Your Fall. How did it start life? Is there a story behind it?
Break Your Fall started out instrumental. I wrote the simple line of octaves and mostly liked the sound of the instrument and the warm feeling when the bass comes in. I added lyrics and came with that to my brilliant producer, Roy Avital. Together, we elaborated the song to a more interesting level. The idea to include the harmoniser on the vocals came from Roy and I loved it immediately. That was the turning point in the song’s becoming.
It's, basically, a song about supporting someone in a complex situation. It speaks about a person who is troubled in a twisted way and is going through a dark and obsessive issue. The track’s dynamic flow goes from a stable and collected to a point of losing control and feeling overwhelmed with emotion.
It is from the E.P., Humble Wishes. Are there themes and life experiences that impacted the songs? Which song do you count as a highlight?
The whole E.P. is a product of a search. Every song has its story and is different in a way but I'm (overall) pretty pleased with the general flow of the whole thing. The first single that was released was Fresh Honey. I think it was an easier song to digest, while Break Your Fall is more minimalistic and artistic. The third and final single I'm about to release, before the full E.P., is called Nightgown - and I think that it's sort of a blend between the sweetness of Fresh Honey and the darkness of Break Your Fall.
How do songs come together and form? Do you set time to write – or do you let inspiration strike and piece together work gradually?
The songwriting process has changed for me in the past few years. The essence of the song usually comes up - sometimes it is unexpected - and when that happens I write down a few words and keep them for later editing. With my producer Roy, I found that it works out the best when I have a deadline in which I bring sketches of already composed and partially-produced songs. It takes me about a month and a half to bring enough material to that stage. After that, we ‘separate the boys from the men’ and pick out the good songs to continue with.
Humble Wishes took a long time to get together because Roy and I were still getting to know each other. These days, we are working on a second album and I think the process is coming together in a more effective way.
Will there be more material coming later in the year?
Sure. Nightgown, the third single, will be released around late-July and the full E.P. will be out around August/September. When I perform, I also play a few new songs from the album which is being worked on.
Which artists did you grow up listening to? Who do you rank as musical idols?
Joni Mitchell, Neil Young; Paul Simon and Sting on one hand: Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and D'Angelo on the other. James Blake, Radiohead; Moses Sumney, Fever Ray and other musicians active these days are also a major influence.
Can we see you tour this year? What gigs do you have coming along?
Sure. I have a double-single release concert on 5th July in Israel and, hopefully, my band and I will take a trip to perform in London around January if all goes as planned.
If we came and saw you play; what sort of songs/setup would we see?
It’s very interesting to transform these songs from studio to live since there's so much sound involved. We put a lot of effort into maintaining the high sound quality to the stage. My drummer uses S.P.D. pads that have different sounds for every song and I have a set of vocal effects - also changing from one track to the other. Some of them I play live during the show and others are triggered to turn on and off when planned.
We are a trio and the third player is one of my closest friends - who is also an amazing guitar player. You should totally come and check us out!
Do you have any ambitions to fulfil before the end of the year?
To take over the world with a storm, of course. Or, at least keep creating and performing to different ears all over.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
I remember my first vocal effect gadget. It was the Boss VE-20 and I used to enjoy playing and performing with it. One of its features is creating a robot-style voice. I once performed with the pedal and accidentally turned on the robot sound. It happened while I was singing a soft emotional song and, needless to say, destroyed the atmosphere (smiles).
Which three albums mean the most to you, would you say?
Blue - Joni Mitchell; Mama’s Gun - Erykah Badu and In Rainbows – Radiohead.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
To keep in mind that there's a long-distant run ahead - so it's a good idea to take a deep breath every now and then.
IN THIS PHOTO: Agnes Obel
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
I've recently discovered Agnes Obel and love her; highly recommended.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Well, yes; I also illustrate and design. I make all the graphics for my music myself and also work for other musicians and customers. I also practice jiu-jitsu as a major hobby for around six years. In fact, in the video clip for Break Your Fall; you can see me doing some moves...
The other male actor is my actual trainer from the dojo where I work out.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Sure! Kimbra – Everybody Knows