“The show is like extremely energetic, people are going crazy in the shows, so it’s kind of like going to a big, crazy, massive party,” says Noga Erez. The Israeli electropop musician and producer is about to kick off her first-ever US tour this Friday (9/17) at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC. The tour, which crosses the country from East to West, includes performances at Firefly, Austin City Limits, Shaky Knees, and Outside Lands, in addition to an abundance of headlining dates, including a stop Sunday, September 26th, at Underground Arts. Earlier this month I got a chance to chat with Noga Erez via Zoom about her latest album, KIDS.
This March Noga Erez released KIDS, her sophomore LP and the follow-up to 2017’s Off the Radar. The album, like its predecessor and the rest of her work, was co-written, composed, and produced by Ori Rousso, Noga Erez’s musical and real-life partner. While Noga admits that the album sounds like an organic evolution of Off the Rader, she does think that she and Ori have gotten notably better as songwriters and expanded their sonic wheelhouse.
“I think we, myself and Ori, just got better at writing music and we got more focused on writing songs that you don’t have to have the production as a context for, that you can just produce in different ways and they would always sounds great… I feel like we also kind of changed the process a little bit. It used to be very, very, very, very beat-based, so it was most of the time Ori making beats and us kind of working on top of that. And we did whatever we can to kind of shift the process and change it a little bit, so it doesn’t remain the same all the time. We needed to keep ourselves fresh.”
KIDS has received an abundance of praise from more-than-noteworthy outlets. NPR Music says, “Every single song pops,” while Stereogum calls the album, “Contagiously fun.” I ask Noga if there have been any especially memorable reviews and she says there is, although she can’t quite remember from where it came: “I’ve had one critic, I won’t remember his name, but he was a great one, and he called it, ‘a masterpiece,’ and I felt like for me that was exaggerated, but I did feel like it was complimenting.”
Noga, however, tells me that the fandom KIDS has achieved has stood out for her more than what any critics have said about it: “What I love about the reaction is that I have little kids loving the album. Like, really small children are really vibing to it. I have moms sending me their children all the time.” She tells me that this has also translated to the kinds of people who have been turning up to her shows: “I have older people in the audience as well. We used to have like an audience of between I would say 15 to like 35ish, and now it’s like from two to… We’ve had people to like the age of 70, which is cool, to be able to do something that can cross those borders.” But she tells me that, above all else, it’s not how KIDS has been received that has been the biggest highlight, but what it represents for her and Ori’s current mindset and process of working together.
“The whole time that we worked on finishing the album KIDS was a time for me that I would always remember myself, like in my happiest version. Because it is a very rare thing, for many artists, but especially for me, to come in and out of the studio and not have such ups and downs with what I feel about the music. And, of course, I’ve had that at the beginning of the process, but the more we came to the end of the process, I started to feel like there’s nothing about this album that I don’t like. And the more we worked on it, I felt like, now that it’s complete, I would not change a single detail in it. Ya know, I love it for how amazing and perfect it is and for how imperfect it is. And I’m just so proud of that body of work and working on it with Ori, who is my partner and producer and also my partner in life. I think the moments of victory for me have nothing to do with the outside world. It’s always about going out of the studio and feeling like I’ve done something big, I’ve done something significant, and something that I’ve learned from.”