“We have been more confident, leaning harder into what we do, and being more fearless about making the music we make without pretensions,” remarks COURTESY TIER guitarist and vocalist Omer Leibovitz. And with that electric energy, the band entered the studio to create their debut full length, EVERYONE’S OK (release date: July 15, 2016 via Beverly Martel), the follow-up to their head-turning EP, Little Rock.
The Big Takeover just premiered the album’s first single “Cold,” explaining, “We had the good fortune of catching this Brooklyn-based trio opening for Wussy at Queens, NY’s Trans-Pecos club… ‘Cold’ was their opening number that night and it’s a doozy.”
Everyone’s OK marks a solidifying moment for the band and their sound. After adjustments and additions to the band’s line-up, they’ve found a perfect balance as a trio, featuring Alex Picca on the bass and Layton Weedeman on the drums. The record also incorporates production work from two celebrated producers that the band has previously worked with – Chris “Frenchie” Smith (The Front Bottoms, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Purple) and Peter Katis (Interpol, The National).
“Having the opportunity to work with guys of such caliber has been inspiring,” explains Leibovitz. “Frenchie dives into the music as if he is a band member… He gets to know the songs almost better than we do and is able to really offer insight into improving the arrangements. Working with Peter is something else. You are constantly in awe when sitting behind him watching him work.”
The record also features mixing work from the esteemed Joe Hardy (ZZ Top, Steve Earle), another renowned professional that the band was ecstatic to have on board. Leibovitz said of Joe: “He clearly understood our music when mixing and breathed new life into the recordings… not to mention his fearless style of mixing brought such a unique sound to this record.”
Everyone’s OK is a fully-realized melding of the disparate histories of all three band members whose lives came together from different geographic areas for unified robust garagey, bluesy rock. Hailing from Israel and West Africa, Leibovitz drew inspiration from “West African music, Jewish traditional and micro-tonal Middle Eastern music. My roots in the Middle East had a big effect on the way I sing.” Weedeman’s world in the NJ suburbs of Philadelphia was shaped by his very music-minded family and his frequent concert-going, seeing bands as varied as “Sonic Youth, Stereolab, and The Roots.” Meanwhile, Picca’s Southern upbringing (born in Kentucky, raised in Florida), contributed to his “love for singing bluegrass style close harmony.” The fates finally brought the band together when Leibovitz and Weedeman (who had originally formed the band while attending Boston’s Berklee College of Music) moved to Brooklyn and met Picca while working as guitar makers for iconic guitar builder Roger Sadowsky.