Avi Wisnia is a Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter who blends bossa nova with 1950’s West Coast Jazz, blues, acoustic folk and contemporary pop.
Avi will release an new album on November 5th. In part I of this interview we spoke about why it took so long to record the new album and his expectations.
What are your favourite memories of writing or recording the album?
“I wrote a lot of these songs while sitting in one of my favorite parks in South Philadelphia, called Palumbo Park, near where I used to live. There’s this fantastic mural called ‘Autumn Revisited’ by artist David Guinn that I used to stare at it and draw inspiration from. I went back when the album was completed and took some photos there. That ended up being the cover of the album.”
“When we assembled the band in the studio, we had a lot of fun playing around with the music. Especially when brainstorming with producer Ken Pendergast, we decided to incorporated some fun sounds in unexpected places, like the plinking of a childhood xylophone, or the humming of kazoos, or the clacking keys of a vintage typewriter. And of course, drinking wine while doing it helps too.”
Do you have a favourite song on the album? Which one and why is it your favourite?
“The songs are so different from each other that my favorites tend to rotate depending on my mood. But there are some that I’m so proud of for different reasons. On ‘Catching Leaves’ I was really thrilled to be able to bring in a string quartet, and I think they did a gorgeous job conveying the beautiful chaos of leaves blowing in the wind. I really wanted to pay homage to the classic bossa nova recordings of Stan Getz and João Gilberto with the cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s ‘Dindi’ while also bringing a new element in, and I think you can really hear that with the way we restructured the rhythm of that song. And ‘You’re Wrong’ is just so fun and playful, I hope everybody bops along to it as much as I do.”
Are you planning any videos for your music?
“There is a hand-drawn animated video out now for the title track of the album ‘Catching Leaves’ that totally captures the vibe of the song just perfectly and visualizes it in an interesting way. There are a few more videos in the works, coming later this year.”
You can pre-save the new album ‘Catching Leaves’ on all platforms. The album will officially be released on all platforms November 5, 2021.