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Yoav – A Foolproof Escape Plan – 2010

A Foolproof Escape Plan:

On his the album “A Foolproof Escape Plan” Yoav has expanded his range of effects and even include a modest amount drums and piano on some of his tracks – though still maintaining the overall feel of the previous album. The album also marks a slight change in style for Yoav, as the album contains several songs that are more up-beat and “positive” than was the case with “Charmed and Strange”. While I was a big fan of the trance-like states many of the songs from “Charmed and Strange” put the listeners in, I have to admit that the diversity on this second album contributes to a more fully formed listening experience.

The opening song “Greed” is a good example of the new album – more energetic than the old songs, but still keeping an open air around the music. Yoav’s new style also really shines through on the song “Yellowbrite Smile”… a songI didn’t pay too much attention to the first time I heard the album, but which has since grown on me: a good candidate for a second single in my opinion. But that is not to say that Yoav has abandoned his old style… Not at all. Some of my best moments on the album are the songs “Little Black Box” and “Safety in Numbers” all of which are every bit as trance-inducing as any of the old stuff. A favourite from “A Foolproof Escape Plan” would be the ending song “We All Are Dancing” which is every bit as addictive as “Adore Adore” or “Club Thing” – and like most of the other songs on the album, I hope I get the chance to see it performed live.

Artist: Yoav
Title: A Foolproof Escape Plan
Genre: Indie, Electronic, Acoustic, Alternative
Release date: 2010
Time: 40:33

01 – Greed (04:33)
02 – Moonbike (03:38)
03 – Safety In Numbers (03:36)
04 – Yellowbrite Smile (03:46)
05 – Spidersong (03:58)
06 – LIttle Black Box (03:49)
07 – Easy Chair (05:00)
08 – Anonymous (04:13)
09 – 6/8 Dream (03:51)
10 – We All Are Dancing (04:05)

Photo by Olly

Photo by Olly

Genre: Alternative / Indie / Pop

Location: Cape Town, London, Montreal, UK

Website:  www.yoavmusic.com


One Man Band

By Roni Dori

Nothing about Yoav Sadan initially appears to justify his introverted behavior. His debut album, "Charmed & Strange," was released last month to rave reviews, and he was repeatedly compared to artists like Beck, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead and Damien Rice. Sinead O'Connor commissioned a song from him last week. The traffic counter on his MySpace page has jumped 11,000 hits since then. And his opening act for Tori Amos granted him entry into the Coachella festival in California last week, where Roger Waters, Prince, Portishead and others performed. Despite his statement that "I wouldn't do it again, but it got me a visa to the United States," his brief modeling career also makes this bashful image hard to believe.

"I'm an outsider," he says by telephone from London. "I always felt that way as a white man in Africa, the only Jew in school. I was the only Yoav that I knew growing up, and I was unpopular in many ways. I was shy, I had a mane of hair, and I was captain of the all-star chess team. Even in this phase of my life, as a musician who is living his dream, I am somewhat exceptional. I am happy that my music is original and that I have a unique sound, but that makes it more difficult."

The sense that he does not belong also has driven him to consider moving to America's West Coast. "I am a bit tired of the cold here," he says.

Yoav Sadan was born in Israel 28 years ago. His mother is opera singer Patricia Sadan, and his father is an architect. Two years after he was born, the family moved to his mother's native South Africa. "My parents were divorced before they met, and they wanted a new start," he explains.

Sadan was not allowed to listen to popular music as a child. "My parents wanted me to play cello or piano, and they absolutely vetoed any music that was not classical. That naturally made me obsessed with pop and rock. I would secretly listen to forbidden genres, and escape to the garden to play an old guitar when my parents were asleep. Music was a very dominant element in my life during that period. It helped me survive."

Sadan's youthful rebellion was mainly expressed in listening to Depeche Mode, The Cure and Pink Floyd in clubs and neighbors' homes. When he was 15, he caused a minor media storm when he took the stage of a Crowded House concert in Cape Town to perform one of the band's songs, "Into Temptation," in front of an audience of 15,000 people.

"I was in one of the first rows. A lot of people pointed at me, and before I understood what was going on they pushed me on stage. I didn't have time to get nervous. I just sang and it was good.

"The next day, the South African newspapers wrote that it was faked, organized ahead of time, things like that. That's interesting because they still write things like that about what I do with the guitar."

Sadan actually does everything with the guitar. It is the only instrument used on the album. Likewise when Sadan performs live, it's just him and the guitar onstage. But Sadan is not the typical singer/songwriter, and despite his claim that he was inspired by Bob Dylan, the folk element in his songs gives way to a sound derived from the dance floor.

Sadan's debut album, with the Field Recordings label (a subsidiary of Island Records) and on sale locally at the Third Ear chain, presents a broad spectrum of styles, from pop to light via soft rock and electronic rock. This album was undoubtedly intended to appeal to all tastes. "Club Thing" is a club hit that could have been performed by Justin Timberlake; "There is Nobody" highly resembles Bronski Beat's 1980s hit "Smalltown Boy," and the guitar solo on "Beautiful Lie" is inspired by U2 guitarist Dave Evans' performance on the group's album "The Joshua Tree." Sadan's album closes with his winning cover of The Pixies' "Where is My Mind," which he chose for nostalgic reasons.

"It reminds me of my teen years, when I would sneak out to go to a club that didn't play songs from the radio. There was only one club like that at the time in Cape Town."

In any case, Sadan plans to soon be rid of his gimmick. "The next album, which will be entirely written during the next six months, will use additional instruments," he says. "The solo guitar was an original idea for the debut album, because it is my essence, but I'd like to work on other things. I am currently in negotiations with the keyboard player for Nine Inch Nails. He did excellent remixes of some of my songs and I am considering working with him on my next album, because he adds a lot to the music without compromising its rough vocal base."

And what about concerts?

"I am tempted to remain alone on stage. I think like a DJ, I like to get people to dance, and I'd like to stay that way and, perhaps, add visual images to the shows."

Although he does not speak Hebrew ("I understand a bit, because my parents used to argue in that language, but I don't know how to say much more than 'Yes' and 'No'"), his connection to Israel is unequivocal, despite the fact that he has not visited the country since high school.

"I spoke to my managers a year ago to tell them that it is important to me that the material make it to Israel, which always looked to me like a very adventurous market. Radiohead appeared in your country before they made their big break," he says. "They sent the disc to Yoav Kutner so that he would play it on the radio. That's the first step toward a show. I have a half-brother who lives in the Golan, winemaker Gabi Sadan, and I miss the smells and the tastes. I remember the Yunis restaurant in Jaffa. My brother used to take me there on our visits to Israel."

Yoav In Montreal, taken by Dominick Chapman.

Yoav In Montreal, taken by Dominick Chapman.

©Emilie Elizabeth

©Emilie Elizabeth
©Emilie Elizabeth

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