Introducing: Keren Ann

Posted by Dean Piper On March 31st, 2011

If you’re a fan of Florence & The Machine then you’ll love fellow spellbinding songstress Keren Ann. I’ve fallen in love with her blend of melodic pop and Keren’s new album 101 – out April 4 – is going to be perfect to pop on during chilled summer nights. I sat down with the Israeli singer to find out more about her recently.

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I love your album 101 but it seems crazy to think that it has taken you six albums to finally emerge?!
I know but with the UK it’s really not that easy! I’ve always been pretty underground and had some nice feedback from the press but have never really had a proper release until now. I’m really excited that I finally can!

It probably makes things a lot easier to have gradually built up to this point?
Definitely – there’s definitely something very solid about it. I’ve toured for years and had some really great crowds. I also produce records for other people so it’s nice to do a solo project and get credit for it.

How would you describe your album 101?
My style of writing is very melancholy and laid-back. It’s definitely very atmospheric and I pay a lot of attention to aesthetics.  I love writing and have a very classic approach to it.

Blood On My Hands is a pretty dramatic song – where do you get inspiration from for tracks like that?

I normally keep it away from real-life. This is the life of a singer and she’s the one who commits mass murder. But she does it in heels in a very fashionable way! People ask me why I would justify the singer being a mass-murderer but I say as long as she does it in high heels…!

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You pose with a pistol on the front of your album cover. Do you worry that in the past some artists have been criticised for glamourising guns?
You know what, I’m a very realistic person and I love cinema and aesthetics. I love film noir, Westerns and Hitchcock and I think a gun is a part of the art. I’m into aesthetics and not vulgarity. I know where to draw the line and that’s important. I think it’s OK to make it very sexy for a minute if you are a pacifist. Writing is about making things beautiful.

What do you think about British singers like Adele, Florence & The Machine and Cheryl Cole?

I’m not familiar enough with Adele’s music but I’m very pleased for her as I hear she’s been doing very well. She has a great voice and is a fantastic songwriter too. To be honest I don’t really know what is going on in the pop world. I haven’t heard of Cheryl Cole! I kept seeing Florence’s name everywhere but I haven’t heard anything yet.

You recently composed a score for a French film starring the legendary Jane Birkin. What was that like? I love her, she was great! She has also covered some of my songs in the past. She is a typical English rose.

Who or what inspired your amazing femme fatal look on the cover of 101?

It’s very inspired by Joanna Lumley. She’s such a woman and so inspiring. Even though her character in The New Avengers wasn’t the most heroic one she had this glamorous gangster feel to her. I would love to meet her.

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