Tamar Haviv is a New York based singer-songwriter who released her debut album You and Me Without Pajamas in July. What’s her specialty, you may ask? Tamar creates heartfelt pop tracks with a fun, lighthearted, and quirky spin to them. Praised as a “terrific debut” by Sir Paul McCartney and “excellent” by Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, we were thrilled to speak with Tamar to discuss the debut.
AMBY: Hey Tamar, welcome to our site! What have you been up to lately?
Tamar Haviv: Hello there, thank you so much for having me! ah, lot’s of walk’s around the city and writing cards and sending packages out to my amazing kickstarter supporter’s! Also I’ve been be-finding my least favorite color mint green – as I have been staying in a mint green colored room for the past couple months…it’s somewhat working! My debut album came out on July 29th which was super exciting & a few days ago I released my first full length music video which features the extraordinary Damien Echols – and my heart has been racing…the number of views keep going up & up which is incredibly touching because the message is such a positive one so It’s so great for it to spread…. Oh! And I saw The Royal Tenenbaums (for like the 8th time) but in Central Park on the breezy night and it was so sweet to watch the film take on a bit of wind and breath and wide open space, it moved in an almost lovelier way if that’s even possible.
AMBY: Congrats on the release of your debut album You and Me Without Pajamas. What was the experience like recording it?
Tamar Haviv: Thank you! It’s been a few weeks but releasing the record is actually still a bit of a shock to me. I have to check iTunes sometimes just make sure it really happened- not because it’s the most incredible feeling that it’s out (and not that it’s not, it feels great!) but because the process was quite eventful which makes it difficult for the closure to sink in. I recorded the record over a long length of time as it was paycheck to paycheck and the record kept growing from 3 songs to 5 to 7 etc …. it came with me from Woodstock to Ithaca to the ocean to LA to Brooklyn to Manhattan, there is even a partial track recorded in England – it was a journey that I literally couldn’t repeat if I tried – and it’s definitely not the way I would record an album again – as I would much prefer to get cozy in 1 studio for a more concentrated period of time. That being said, I got to work with AMAZING musicians, engineers, producers…there is incredible talent on this record and a lot of them are friends as well. So that was the real gift & one I am truly grateful for.
AMBY: When it came to your heartfelt pop ballads, who inspired you as a songwriter?
Tamar Haviv: There are lots of people, films, writer’s, artists, photographers and everyday experiences/interactions that inspire me. And of course when it comes to my favorite songwriters a that list includes; Amy Ray, Leonard Cohen, Ani Difranco, Dan Bern, Shamsi Ruhe, Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman, The Indigo Girls, Rufus Wainwright …. but the full one is way too long for this interview!
AMBY: What’s the significance behind the album’s quirky title You and Me Without Pajamas?
Tamar Haviv: This album really explores different relationships…ways in which we are intimate with another physically/emotionally/spiritually …ways we are willing to extend ourselves to connect more deeply with others and all of the awkwardness, silliness, beautiful imperfect clumsiness and loveliness that comes along with that. The title of the record really comes from a bit of a dance, a bit of a conversation I was having with someone at the time, your questioning at the end of your question is suitable to the answer itself.
AMBY: The debut features various musicians such as Jerry Marotta (Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel), Sara Lee (The B-52’s, Ani DiFranco), and Kevin Salem (Rachael Yamagata, Mandy Moore). What was one of the highlights you had while recording with these musicians?
Tamar Haviv: Only one? Ahhh, so many….Jerry Marotta & Kevin Salem were beyond generous to me with their time & their talent and it was truly an honor and humbling experience working with them. And Sara Lee is exceptional and one of the Loveliest beings you will ever meet! Jerry had this sweet homey woodsy studio at the time, now he runs the beautiful Dreamland – working with him was magical – I had watched him & Sara Lee on stage for years with The Indigo Girls; one of my favorite bands that helped me recognize myself as an Artist – so, it was coming full circle. I just didn’t expect Jerry and I to have such a great connection and for him to be so involved and hands on with the project – So that was incredibly warming to my heart & always fun & things stayed mischievous!
AMBY: Who would your dream collaboration be with?
Tamar Haviv: This is a fantastically difficult question. there are too many fantasies with this one, honestly, it would take up the whole interview & collaboration can look like so many different things- But to name some in this very moment… Amy Ray, Rufus Wainwright, Ani Difranco, Brett Dennen, Ray Lamontagne……..
AMBY: If you could be a fly on the wall at any given time or event, where would you want to be?
Tamar Haviv: It’s funny cause I think ALL the time about what it would be like to experience life as someone else – to be in someone else’s experience/body/upbringing/mind/circumstance especially in NYC when I’m constantly surrounded by people – I wonder how it would feel as someone else – I’m very happy being me, I’m just very curious what life is like outside of my own self and experience, you know? But never anyone specific, generally complete strangers. And I don’t often think about being in other times/events …. AH! okay……. I would want to be a fly on the wall on the film set’s of the my TWO favorite film’s: Edward Scissorhands & Amelie. BUT, do I have to be a fly? Can I be a fly sometimes but then also sometimes be a Production Assistant whose job description is like: Hugs actors & crew in stressful situations if needed- Also, sings to ” ” and possible outcome might include being BFF’s with actor’s/crew that ok?
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Tamar Haviv that nobody knows yet?
Tamar Haviv: I keep a list of future dog names on my phone.
Thank you Tamar Haviv, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout