Tel Aviv Singer-Songwriter Keren Ilan Delivers Gorgeous Debut EP
Listening to Keren Ilan feels like listening to love personified in a dream. What she does with her voice and her words is so special — this isn’t just music. It’s magic.
Last month, the Vietnam-born, Israel-based artist dropped her debut EP This Morning, Yesterday featuring four remarkable tracks. Here’s what she had to tell us about the release:
This Morning, Yesterday opens with its title track booming with layered percussive pumps that lay a heavy base for Keren’s light voice to float on. This is the essence of Keren Ilan — her inherent softness forever lightening the subtle grunge of her instrumentation. The EP’s opener is a beautiful moment of vulnerability leading into “Take Her Down,” in which things get a little edgier, a little darker, a little more tongue-in-cheek. Keren isn’t just soft — she’s shadow too. On “Lost,” rich psych-rock blooms open the track which unfolds into a hazy slow-burn, all sleepy strums and honeyed drawl as Keren sings (barely; the words seem to just fall out of her mouth in slow-motion) lines like “I spit words like a drunk poetic lover” — it’s a long journey for this track but things devolve into a searing crush by the end.
This Morning, Yesterday ends with “Let Go / Heavy,” a dazzling conclusion to an EP that deserves hours and hours more of its own perfection. Keren returns to her signature tenderness here — her voice is soft at first but grows stronger with each percussive crescendo and twinkling guitar riff growing in the distance, a song mesmeric in its foggy alternative arrangement, sending sparkles into the sparks. With her debut EP, Keren Ilan designs a world of dreamy indie-rock reduced to a crawl that allows her mellow voice to lead — gently, without force, and seamlessly — a vulnerable journey of pure, pretty poesy.
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Featured photo of Keren by Ariel Pedatzur