Indie-folk singer Rosi Golan was born in Israel and made stops in Germany and Paris before her family set down roots in Los Angeles when she was nine. So while she speaks Hebrew and French fluently (according to her bio at least), it's in English and on the West Coast that she found her voice, in a haunting but soothing register that perfectly complements her insightful lyrics.
At age 19, just six weeks after picking up a guitar, Golan played her first open-mic night. Since then, her life has been a whirlwind of nightclubs and theaters. Songs from her first album, The Gypsy and the Drifter
, have been featured on national commercials (a Pantene Pro-V commercial features her "Shine") and television shows (One Tree Hill
, The Ghost Whisperer
, Grey's Anatomy
and Private Practice
Golan is out this spring with William Fitzsimmons, a fellow indie-folk artist, on a cross-country tour which hits Radio Radio April 13. Accompanied on guitar by Jake Phillips, a veteran member of Golans' full band, Golan will present both material from Gypsy
and more recent songs yet to be recorded.
starts with "Think of Me," an up-tempo ballad that Golan calls one of her favorite tracks.
"Lyrically, I am really proud of that song," she said in a recent phone interview. "It's one of the songs I really connect to. It is a song that is very significant to what was going on in my life, and a song I re-related to again when I was making my album in a different way."
As the album progresses, Golan takes listeners on an emotional and journey through the highs, such as "C'est L'amour," a playful song that draws upon her experiences abroad, and lows, such as the album's closing track "Been a Long Day," a solo piano (and voice) number that's as simple as it is somber. Golan said she has a hand in writing all her songs and draws inspiration from her own life.
"Sometimes when I am writing a song," Golan explained. "I'll look back at the lyrics and will have written about something that I am going through at the time. I might not realize it, but I always write about something personal."
Overall, the album is varied but maintains a sense of cohesion through Golan's steady, strong beats, the use of violins, accordions and other unexpected instruments, and a soft, genuine voice that listeners are sure to grow fond of.
"Think of Me" earned Golan ASCAP's first Robert Allen Award for best pop song (a recognition that included at $2500 grant).The two-person acoustic set propels those award-wining lyrics to the forefront.
"It's hard because you are playing the same songs every night," Golan said, "but it is important to connect to the audience and try to connect to the songs every night in a different way so you aren't just going through the motions.