Erel Pilo
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Erel Pilo

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013

New York City, New York, United States
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Pop Indie

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"Erel Pilo: Drone – Music Review"

RIYL: Regina Spektor, Mary Timony, Amanda Palmer, Rachel Ries

On her recently released debut ‘Drone’, Erel Pilo offers a 6-track snapshot of modern life in Brooklyn that stylistically runs the gamut between folk, acoustic and indie pop. Her website bio is about as tongue-in-cheek as you can get and that healthy sense of humor spills over into the album.

The title track ‘Drone’ is a clever piece of pop that finds Pilo offering up a laundry list of her daily activities and coming to a dire realization. The song uses a piano riff, minimalist beats and techy electro-blips for a backdrop as Pilo sings ‘I’m writing an email/ I’m checking my Facebook/ I’m petting my cat’ and concludes in the chorus ‘I’m a drone!’ The track works surprisingly well by avoiding excessive pathos and opting for a more lighthearted demeanor.

The opener ‘All the People (Chloe’s Theme)’ is probably more cutesy than necessary, with ukelele, kiddie piano runs, hand-claps and tambourine. Still, it’s a fairly catchy ditty that gives Pilo the opportunity to proclaim to an ex ‘If you’d not told me all those ugly things you did/ We’d still have a future I bet.’

Next in line is ‘Just a Girl’, which tells the tale of a more fruitful relationship and creates a nicely pensive mood with strummed guitar and wistful organ flourishes. ‘Love Song’ mines a similar vein but the melody lacks definition and with stock lyrics the track somehow manages to feel long at only 3:35.

Things get much more interesting on ‘Let’s Go’, a quirky vent about being stuck in traffic that feels raw and compelling and sounds an awful lot like a Mary Timony circa ‘Mountains’. It’s a mostly spoken-word-style track with a dour brooding energy, crashing cymbals, synths and xylophone. ‘Im not moving and I don’t like it very much’, Pilo chants, ‘They say I should get a new attitude/ I say they should find a way to put me in the mood.’ The track builds to a satisfyingly discordant crescendo, and is quickly followed by “Lone Wolf”, another moody piece that shows Pilo isn’t afraid to delve into darker depths. All in all, “Drone” is a satisfying and varied debut that leaves the listener eager to hear more of the sounds swirling through Erel Pilo’s mind. - Hot Indie News


"People We Love: Erel Pilo"

Erel Pilo is one of the most charming Brooklyn musicians on the block. Her sweet, indie sounds are ethereal, upbeat, and poppy with a hint of folk.

If you like Regina Spektor, Kate Nash, or Fiona Apple check her out! - Feminist Wednesday


"Ear Candy: Erel Pilo"

With the recent release of her EP Drone, Israeli born singer Erel Pilo, who now calls “The Big Apple” home, has plenty to celebrate about. Her sound is eclectic, providing a contemporary twist to the indie pop genre that is refreshing. We haven’t heard anything quite like it, which is an testament to the depths of Erel’s talents. The album succeeds in telling the story of our modern times, which provide relatable experiences for the listener. From start to finish you are taken on a journey!! In the midst of a hectic schedule we are thankful to Erel for taking the time to speak with Scream Loudly.

SL: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Erel Pilo?

EP: I’m a singer-songwriter who resides in Brooklyn (among other things).

SL: When did you first decide you wanted to be a singer? Was this your initial career path?

EP: I’ve always enjoyed singing – I was in high school chorus, but I never thought I had a particularly good voice or envisioned myself as a singer. After college, I studied acting for a number of years, and was auditioning in NY and all that with moderate success. I was feeling empty and stuck, and I started writing songs to express the blues I was feeling. A friend of mine with a beautiful backyard (which is a rare treasure in Manhattan) invited me to come play her garden one night over the summer when she had some friends over. The response was so warm, it encouraged me to continue. So I kept going and I’ve learned so much and really enjoy singing for people. I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement along the way. I think I would have stopped if so many people hadn’t offered their support early on.

SL: How would you describe your sound/style of music to listeners?

EP: One of my friends calls it a pixie style and I know what he means by that. Musically, it’s indie pop with a hint of folk. I fall into the same category as singer-songwriters like Lenka and Ingrid Michaelson. Someone once told me I fall between PJ Harvey and Regina Spektor on the spectrum, which I think is a great place to be.

SL: What vocalist influenced you growing up?

EP: I listened to Billie Holiday nonstop when I was younger. Other jazz singers too, but Billie was my favorite. With her, it always feels like her words come from truth — like she’s barely singing, more just telling her sad, sad story. I also listened to Fiona Apple an awful lot and still do. Her music always resonated with me – she has an extraordinary eloquence with words, and she doesn’t shy away from expressing her anger through song.

SL: Who are some of your musical influences today?

EP: That’s such a hard question, because there’s so much good stuff out there. I met a Brazilian guitar player on the subway, and that led me to checking out more bossa nova – songs by Tom Jobim and Astrud Gilberto, for instance. For a while, I would start every morning with reggae. I also was on a Bob Dylan and Joan Baez kick recently. I’m late to the party, but I recently discovered MGMT and was blown away by their psychedelic music and videos. I’ve been covering a lot of Harry Nilsson songs lately and some Nancy Sinatra – this list can just go on and on.

SL: Do you write all of your own songs? Can you share your creative process when writing new music?

EP: Yeah – I’ve written my own songs and have recently started collaborating with others during the song-writing process, which is fun. There’s no rule to how a song may come to me. It can start with a lyrical concept or a melody. Sometimes it will come off an instrument, but many times it just comes from my head. Especially when I’m walking – I find my feet make a good beat that I can improvise over. I liken the whole process to doing a crossword, because sometimes words and melody just fit together in the right way.

SL: You recently released your EP titled Drone, which is exciting. What was it like to create the album?

EP: It was terrifying and also so much fun at the same time. Some of my songs are very personal to me, so hearing them blasting on the speakers was almost frightening. But I was in good hands. I was working closely with Jason Cummings, a very talented musician/engineer/producer and now friend – I had so much fun experimenting with him. We both share a love for weird sounds, the dirtier, the better, so we were laughing a lot while working, listening to these weird noises. He introduced me to new sounds and instruments – like the Moog, for example.

SL: Is there a favorite song on the album? Why?

EP: My personal favorite on the album is Lone Wolf – that song was written from a very painful place. I think we really captured the rawness I was feeling on that track.

SL: In your opinion, what is the single most difficult challenge musician’s face today?

EP: It might be just making a living. I also think that there’s a lot of hype in any career related to performance. There’s so much focus on marketing yourself, that it’s easy to forget about craft – learning to create something that has value in it. I think that’s the most important thing, and it’s easy to get distracted by the business and wanting to get ahead.

SL: Are there any new exciting projects coming up in the near future you can share with us?

EP: Yes – I’m putting together “A Night of Sirens” on March 20th at The Bitter End in honor of Women’s History Month. It’s a concert featuring 20 singer-songwriters sharing songs that celebrate the female spirit. I’m very excited about this – especially because I’ll get to hear so many talented songwriters I’ve crossed paths with over the years. The proceeds from the show will benefit a non-profit group called “Made by Survivors” which empowers survivors of human rights abuses. It’s an extraordinary company, and I’m really proud to be partnering with them. Invite to the event is here. Music starts at 9PM.

SL: What does the future look like to Erel Pilo?

EP: It looks good – I just want to continue flowing with all these creative projects I’m passionate about — music, dancing, writing, singing, playing — and see where it all takes me. - Scream Loudly


Discography

Drone - 2013

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, Erel Pilo creates bright indie-pop music with an acoustic base and evocative lyrics. Taking inspiration from artists like Fiona Apple and Billie Holiday, her songs whimsically explore themes of connection, love and loss. Her sound has been likened to Regina Spektor, PJ Harvey, and The Moldy Peaches.

Band Members