(18 July 2010) Savannah is an extremely talented singer-songwriter that was born and raised in Sydney Australia. Today she lives in Tel Aviv. We first met Savannah in 2008 (review) when she was the lead vocalist with the progressive rock band Xamavar and beginning work on her solo project. At the time she had a demo recording of some of the tracks she has just professionally released, was featured Xamavar's three track EP, and drew attention to the band on the Israel Unleashed compilation for "Blind Still Trill." Savannah decided to focus on her solo career in the spring of 2008 and performed at Xamavar's last show in Tel Aviv on 30 May 2008. After attending the last show, we are disappointed that more of the band's catalog was never memorialized in a recording.
Savannah began playing and writing at a young age. From her early years she enjoyed improvisation and composition, studying the guitar, piano and saxophone. Her compositions cross a variety of genres following the cycles of her life and dreams. A graduate of the College of Fine Art in Sydney, (Bachelor of Digital Media, COFA, UNSW) Savannah is also a painter and performance artist. She fuses her practice as a musician with her work as a fine artist: her paintings and performance pieces investigate the junction between colour and sound.
Today Savannah performs regularly in and around Tel Aviv, her music brimming with energy and passion. She sings and plays the piano, her performance including an ensemble of double bass and violin. The effect is mesmerizing, with pieces ranging from intimate ballads to jazzier upbeat numbers. Savannah engages the audience, opening her heart and captivating them with the emotional charge of her voice. Her unique repertoire combines her own work with English translations and reinterpretations of familiar Israeli songs by artists such as Arkadi Duchen and Eviatar Banai.
In the run up to her first commercial release the artist recorded fourteen tracks for a full album. A consummate perfectionist, Savannah felt that she could do better. She surrounded herself with talented supporting musicians: Noam Elron (electric and double bass); Luki Gabai (drums); Noa Ayali (cello); Gal Padeh (guitars, pads, hammonds, backing vocals, digital editing and arrangement). She entrusted Gal with the role of producer. THe project was recorded at Bardo Studios by Bill Tzur. It was mastered at Sterling Sound in NYC by Justin Schturtz. The result is a six track recording entitled The Red Deat Week EP (Savannah (Israel) 2010). The recording features five of Savannah's own tracks plus a cover of "Yesh Li Sikui" by Eviatar Banai with piano arrangement by Savannah and Amir Amrami.
The six tracks of Red Dead Week include four tracks previously regularly played at her live performances and recorded in various demo forms plus two all new songs. The overall production of the EP is completely stunning, with professional arrangements that perfectly complement Savannah's evocative vocal delivery. The opening track, "Dogs Of The Wind," will entice the listener with Savannah's powerful lead and lovely backing vocals. Producer Gal Padeh did an outstanding job on the arrangements of the opening number.
The sensitivity evoked in Savannah's vocal delivery of "Friend Of Mine" is perfectly aligned with the message of the lyrical passages. Listen for the crystalline texture in her lead vocal and the crisp piano and light percussion in this gentle ballad. The EP's version of the title track glistens from the outstanding production treatment of vocal and piano. The addition of the string arrangement has taken the song to a new pinnacle. Crystalline vocals glide atop a very gentle piano melody in the relatively new track "Margie." Savannah's piano work both within and between vocal passages is delicately played.
Savannah's translated cover of a familiar Hebrew song by Evitar Banai -"Yesh Li Sikui" ("I Have A Hope") is sung atop a very light jazz-based piano arrangement. It is delicate and sweet. The EP concludes with the theatrically-tinged track, "Potential Black." The significant contrast between the verse and the piano-laden chorus is delivered and produced wonderfully on this EP. The instrumental and multi-tracked vocal arrangement of the final chorus is spellbinding.
As can be seen on her YouTube channel, Savannah certainly has a larger repetoire than the six pieces on this EP. She clearly has a catalog of material for a full length album. She is streaming the songs from the EP as well as other recordings at MySpace, Reverbnation and FaceBook. Visit the sites and make sure to give them a thorough listen. Support this artist with the purchase of her songs and join us in the impatient anticipation of her first full length album.