Tamar Aphek may be a new name to most of us, but in her native Israel she’s already made big waves in the music scene. She’s created a music festival called Besides That, contributed music the award-winning film One Week and a Day, played in the bands Carusella and Shoshana, and been hailed as “Israel’s guitar goddess”. She’s already toured in the USA and Europe, but she’s now looking to make a bigger impact under her own name, and she’ll be releasing an album called All Bets Are Off through venerated American label Kill Rock Stars on January 29.
Today she delivers the album’s lead single, “Show Me Your Pretty Side”, and she says: “Most of my songs reflect a quest to find an equilibrium between contrasts; either love vs. hate in relationships, justice and injustice within society, war and peace between nations and so on. In my search to find some answers, I was inspired by the Nobel lecture of Martin Luther King (1964), who talked about the conflict between material and spiritual realms of human beings. My song is an inner dialogue between what I call the “good cop bad cop” which I believe exists in every person, so one person is asking his or her partner to take off the cover which conceals the pretty side.”
Aphek and her band create the perfect setting for this internal good-cop-bad-cop dynamic on “Show Me Your Pretty Side”, with a deeply noir palette of twanging guitars, prominent bass wiggling through, and her sultry voice remaining cool as she provokes. She is equally parts alluring and taunting as she repeats the titular demand – “Show Me Your Pretty Side” – while bristling saxophone adds to the steaminess and the song’s atmosphere closes in. Aphek has you wrapped around her little finger, commanding and compelling, sending mixed messages but completely in control, and by the conclusion of “Show Me Your Pretty Side” you’ll be completely powerless to resist.