Songwriter Oren Lavie (Tel Aviv, Israel), who has drawn comparisons in the press to Nick Drake, the Beatles and Crosby Stills & Nash, released his debut album ‚ÄúThe Opposite Side Of The Sea‚ÄĚ on March 10th, 2009 on his own imprint, A Quarter Past Wonderful, which he started with tastemaker and current KCRW host Chris Douridas. Says Douridas, a 27-year veteran of radio, ‚ÄúI've never been so motivated to help an artist get his music out into the world until I met Oren. He is incredibly special. It's rare every song in an artist's catalogue moves me like Oren‚Äôs do."
The album is as eclectic as Oren‚Äôs home bases of Tel Aviv, Israel (where he was born), Berlin Germany (where he recorded the album), and Los Angeles, CA (the home of his new label). It was released in Europe and immediately garnered great press with Uncut raving in a four-star review that the album is ‚Äúcinematic and mellow, like Nick Drake in a cheerful summer bonnet‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ
Many people in the US will be familiar with Oren‚Äôs music as his album track ‚ÄėHer Morning Elegance‚Äô was featured in a national ad campaign for Chevy Malibu. He also wrote the end credit ‚ÄúA Dance ‚ÄėRound the Memory Tree‚ÄĚ for the film The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian joining Regina Spektor and Hanne Hukkelberg on the soundtrack.
Born in Tel-Aviv, Israel, Oren began his creative journey as a playwright. At the age of 21 he wrote and directed a play for the Israeli Fringe Theater Festival, which won the awards for best newcomer writer and director. He later moved to London on a scholarship to attend the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. While still at school he wrote a play he later directed in an Off West-end theater to critical acclaim. The production was named by Time-Out London as one of the best 5 shows in London during its run. Oren moved to NY where he gradually began to shift his focus from playwriting to a shorter form of storytelling, the song. Two years later he relocated to Berlin and began work on The Opposite Side of The Sea.
In 2007 the album was released in Europe, then found its way to the KCRW playlist in LA. Shortly after that the album track ‚ÄėHer Morning Elegance‚Äô was synched to a Chevrolet Malibu TV campaign. Oren, who does not own a television and has not driven a car for 10 years, continues to ride the bus. With the earnings from the TV ad he started his own label in the US, named it, then renamed it, changed it again and finally decided to call it Quarter Past Wonderful. He then released The Opposite Side Of The Sea on iTunes US, where it climbed to #30 on the charts.
Oren Lavie's music doesn't come right at you through the front door; its elliptical nature is mysterious and dense and remains slightly unresolved. His vignettes of life are heartbreaking. One can hear his playwright past in his narratives as his songs unfold like a collection of short stories in musical poetic form.