Tamar Aphek's album, All Bets Are Off, will be released on Kill Rock Stars in January 2021. 'Show Me Your Pretty Side' is the first single released and it is out today. Listen now. Preorder the album.
"Most of my songs reflect a quest to find an equilibrium between contrasts either love vs. hate in relationships, justice and injustice within society, war and peace between nations and so on. In my search to find some answers, I was inspired by the Nobel lecture of Martin Luther King (1964), who talked about the conflict between material and spiritual realms of human beings. My song is an inner dialogue between what I call the "good cop bad cop" which I believe exists in every person, so one person is asking his or her partner to take off the cover which conceals the pretty side."
Before she was 18, Tamar Aphek didn’t care about rock music. "It wasn’t until I first heard bands like Fugazi, Shellac, Sonic Youth, Jesus Lizard, Blonde Redhead, Unwound, Slint, Hella, Elliott Smith's Either/Or, that I started diving into history. I was fascinated by the minimalist sound based on asymmetric time signatures these bands had.”
Not that Tamar was a stranger to music - she went to a conservatory high school, played piano, and sang in a children’s choir that toured internationally. From her early childhood, Tamar showed a natural inclination for rhythm and pitch. Her four years stay in Egypt with her diplomatic parents widened and enriched her imagination and exposure to different dynamics and melodies.
The decision to move from classical music to other musical genres was taken during Tamar's two years’ military service, where she embodied prophet Isaiah urge to 'beat swords into plowshares,' as she used to carry her guitar and play during night shifts.
Enrolling in law school at Tel Aviv University did not stop Tamar to plunge deep into the scene of indie music of Tel Aviv, succeeding to integrate smoothly, as a guitarist, in the already well established bands like ED in 2005. Two years later, Tamar founded an ensemble named Carusella, with Guy Schechter, former drummer of ED.
As the leader of the indie bands Carusella and Shoshana, Tamar become a prominent fixture in the Israeli rock scene. Her bands toured Europe and the US, she helped organize Indie Negev, the most prestigious festival in Israel, and she’s been crowned “Israel’s guitar goddess” by Timeout Tel-Aviv.
Within Carusella, and later Shoshana, Tamar demonstrated her creativity as a song writer, singer and guitarist. Within a short period of time she succeeded to break through, and become a leading figure and a prominent face of contemporary rock in the Israeli rock scene. Parallel to her performances in Israel, Tamar gained an international fame through dozens of international tours, both in Europe and the US, including some prestigious festivals like SXSW first with her two bands, and later under her solo personal project which carries her name - Tamar Aphek.
As for her musical style - from the varied stages in her musical career, Tamar was adamant to break rules and conventions that characterized certain musical genres, pioneering the road to what was called world music, although Tamar prefers the term global music. Her openness to different rhythms, dynamics, melodies and tones might be attributed to her four years in Egypt through childhood which changed her whole worldview. Thus, composing and writing lyrics to her songs reflected a combination of personal philosophical vision with day today life experience.