Obsession: is the title of the album and its first single. Obsession is what sums up Ran Nir’s life in the last years.
An Israeli singer and musician who has co-founded, co-written and toured with two successful indie bands (Asaf Avidan & The Mojos – who had a big hit last summer with a remix of the Reckoning Song – and LFNT), Ran Nir decided to go solo and move to Berlin. Berlin threw up more questions than answers, and it’s these questions and an ongoing attempt to answer them, that makes up the lyrical content of this album.
Ran reflects on the thing which more and more occupies all of us, these days, consciously or unconsciously: the ever-increasing frantic speed of living life. The river that rushes faster and faster, and our inability to swim to the bank and take a breather. And Ran talks about how a lot of us deal with that: always finding a new obsession: music, clothes, sex, relationships, you name it: hence “another new obsession”.
As on his earlier song Quiet from 2018 (I had me a bottle of bourbon, I had me a nightmare from hell, but I never had any quiet inside my head), Ran sounds like a man looking for a bit of peace and quiet…which makes you wonder why he moved to Berlin, the city that never sleeps after the other one that never slept got a bit of shuteye (so I’ve heard). But that’s perhaps a question for another day.
Ran Nir’s music sounds like that too. Acoustic, indie folk, well-played, warm and palliative. He’s assembled a cast of excellent musicians around him, and the quality shines through. Recorded in his flat and co-produced with Erez Frank, the album comes across as intimate and confidential, music for a rainy autumn day.
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.