Rosi Golan: Music of Time and Place

Rosi Golan debuted her first two albums, 2008’s The Drifter and the Gypsyand 2011’s Lead Balloon (featuring a special appearance by Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol), and her 2013 EP, Fortuna, were widely tapped for television shows and films. She’s turned her life into an adventure, changing the places she calls home in a quest to experience the richness and variety of all that life has to offer. Not surprisingly then, her latest album; Collecting Bullets (out last summer) sums up the changes she’s undergone in recent years, the result of travel, new experiences and gaining a fresh perspective. The title, she says, is meant to be taken literally. It reflects the fact that she’s slowly been collecting powerful songs, having emerged from a period when the music wasn’t flowing and her musical efforts weren’t yielding the results. Inspiration came knocking and her work is incredibly cool developing in so many directions.

Your work has served as the soundtrack on a variety of television and movie score.  Did you or do you imagine a film or visual narrative when you write?  In a followup to that idea, were you surprised to see which scenes the songs were placed in?

I have never really imagined specific visuals when I write my own records. I have written specifically for films or TV before though. It’s always fun to see what sort of scenes they use your music in. I find myself ending up in a lot of relationship type scenes or sad ones….. guess that’s kind of obvious ha. 

Prior to your recent release, you took some time away and moved to Paris for a year.  Tell me the story of what motivated that move and what that was like.  Do you find yourself writing differently as a result?  Does the environment or change in your day-to-day make an impact on your songwriting process?

I’m not a person who does really well with long term routines. I had been living in NY for longer than anywhere I have before, and I got so burnt out. I just felt like my life needed a radical change. I have always loved Europe, and I speak French fluently, so it felt like a natural step. For me, the environment sets the tone every single time, so being away had a big influence on my writing, and on the way I felt like my music should change.

You have collaborated with a whole cast of talented musicians including Greg Laswell, Madi Diaz, Richard Harris, and the album’s producer, Kevin Seaton.  Can you speak to what that was like and how these songs came together in the writing and recording stages?  

I was really lucky with this group of collaborators. I love them all creatively and as friends, which is a major bonus. It just makes it all feel like fun and not like work. I’m grateful they all spent this time creating these songs with me. 

Your songs do have a dark side at times but the new songs do feel lighter in many respects.  Can you comment on this? Is that a result of new collaborations, a new environment (in Los Angeles), or a sound you have been developing?  Do you still find inspiration in dark places?  Is music making a sort of release or therapeutic for you?

Yeah music is definitely therapeutic. My favorite thing is when you write a song and you don’t realize what it’s about yet and then in hindsight you realize you were processing something you were going through at the time. I definitely set out to create something with a bit of a lighter tone, but the dark side always creeps in here and there haha. 

Tell me about your current live band and your plans for touring this album?

Right now I am playing with Brandon Walters who sings, plays guitar and keys, and Anne Williamson who sings and plays keys. for the new record they both play keys and tracks from the record.  I have a show in LA and a Festival in TN coming up. Beyond that we are working on some tour dates for the fall. 

What do you have planned for the future?

Im actually going back to Europe in a few weeks to start writing some new stuff. And I have some more music being released soon. 

Who should Frontrunner interview next?

Natalie Hemby is one of my favorites. 

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