Asaf Avidan on New Album Different Pulses and "Why I Decided to Go Back to Basics"
"It's acoustically different and it's sonically different," Israeli singer-songwriter Asaf Avidan notes, comparing his new debut solo album, Different Pulses, to his work with former band, The Mojos. "It has different sounds and touches on different genres of music and takes a different approach to making a record."
While Avidan has produced other projects on his own (including an EP and a live release) both before and after his three full-length albums with The Mojos, this latest collection of songs is perhaps his most personal. And rather than dwelling on the repercussions of the 2005 breakup that pushed him into a musical career, Different Pulses strives to hurdle the obstacles left behind by the disintegration of that relationship.
"I became a musician because of that breakup, but this album is no longer about that," he says. "The first two albums were roughly about that, and ever since then, it's been a continuous kind of digging inside to find the roots of these problems that I'm perpetuating."
However, completed with producer Tamir Muskat, the drummer for the New York- and Tel Aviv-based band Balkan Beat Box, Different Pulses was also a collaborative effort. Together, Avidan and Muskat provided all the instrumentals on the 11-track record.
Yet the vision is entirely Avidan's. And while the new album draws upon many of the same influences as his work with The Mojos, the process of working nearly alone on this project allowed him to explore artistic depths and creative idiosyncrasies that'd previously been frustrated by the band dynamic.
"I felt that I needed more colors in my palette and I needed to control them a bit more," Avidan admits. "Because of that, Different Pulses is much more personal and much more what I envisioned it to be, because it doesn't go through so many filters to get there."
As for the album's underlying outside influences, tracks like "Turn" reflect Avidan's passion for the tremolo guitar-driven sounds of Ennio Morricone's spaghetti western film scores.
The album even incorporates certain literary influences, including two of Avidan's favorite novelists, Nicole Krauss and Jonathan Safran Foer.
"It's amazing for me because they were these writers that influenced me and our art got us together," Avidan laughs, explaining how one of the characters in Foer's Everything Is Illuminated inspired the writing of his song, "613 Shades of Sad."
"It's a really cool story because I'm going to meet them next week. We've become really good friends. I wrote them after I released Different Pulses that they were a huge influence on this album and I sent it to them."