In 2015, Amit Erez made his way from the shores of Tel Aviv to the Rose City. Recording under the name The Secret Sea, Erez has used his time wisely in Portland, continuing his musical project as a solo endeavor and setting himself up for his seventh release but “the first one to be made and released outside of Israel,” he says.
Everest, due out mid-November, may have been arranged and produced by Erez himself, but he also received help from some storied locals—namely drummer Paul Pulvirenti (Elliott Smith, Eyelids) with legendary engineer Larry Crane (Elliott Smith, Sleater-Kinney, Stephen Malkmus, The Decemberists) behind the boards at his own Jackpot! Recording Studio.
Although moving to Portland was a dream of Erez’s for many years, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. “Leaving home and starting over in the Northwest has put me through many extreme experiences—the ending of a meaningful relationship, dealing with being alone in a new, foreign place, reinventing and rediscovering myself as a person, and the idea of continuing my musical career where people have never heard about me,” he explains. “The album's lyrics reflect on all those experiences, feelings and thoughts I dealt with during this journey. ‘Canada’ was the first song to be written for the new album, just before leaving to the States.”
Working with Crane was also a dream of Erez’s and he contacted him shortly after arrival in Portland. “Our work began with ‘Canada’ and later grew into working on more and more songs that became an album,” he says.
The hushed, beautifully strummed yet fragile track features fellow Israeli-turned-Portland artist Gil Assayas of GLASYS on keyboards and now has a visual companion, shot and edited by Stas Afanasiev, that aims to capture “the solitude and intimacy of the song” by “showing me in front of myself and in front of my new home—the city of Portland” and the Willamette River. “The editing captures the inner fragility of one's soul as he faces a new world and questioning his present and future.”