SANDR (Shelly and Rotem) /// Eternal Loop Of Lies
Sad songs belong to the winter. They thrive when it’s cold outside, in our attempt to find some melodies and words that will keep us warm. But the best sad songs are those that break your heart, yet bring you some kind of joy and hope.
SANDR‘s first single “Eternal Loop Of Lies” from their forthcoming debut album is exactly what I was hoping it to be, a sincere collection of lyrics combined with amazing vocals and beautiful production by Tom Darom. Shelly Levy & Rotem Frimer are the young ladies behind SANDR (formerly known as “Shelly & Rotem”). They both sing and write the songs together in a way only good friends can, in their own unique atmosphere. They met at high school and have continued on with their successful formula ever since – Shelly on the keyboard and Rotem playing the guitar. You can’t know that they’re young from their incredibly mature music and their heart-breaking approach to lyrics. The band was founded in 2012 and since then they managed to release the beautifully mastered “Between Shores” EP. Now they are working on the material for their full length debut album while touring.
Ella Ronen /// Please
The Autumn brings a necessity for heartwarming music. Something to listen to in front of your imaginary fireplace, letting your feet warm up, your hands, your body, your mind and finally your soul.
Ella Ronen‘s debut album “Mirror Maze” is the perfect album for the autumn, full of beautiful and heart breaking folky songs with just the right amount of jazzy flavours that will warm your heart. Earlier this year the Israeli musician released the album in Switzerland after moving there in 2011 to follow love. In 2013 she had participated in the first season of the television series “The Voice Of Switzerland” but inside she knew that it was her early discoveries of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan that inspired her into becoming a musician. In the search for the local music scene she finally signed to “Sophie Records” and started to work on her debut album with Luk Zimmermann (Lunik) as the producer.
Noe Ella is releasing the “Mirror Maze” in Israel accompanied by a mini-tour kicking off today (11.11) in SYRUP, Haifa. Moving to OzenBar in tel Aviv on the next day and finally to Ashan HaZman in Beer Sheva (13.11).
Watch the beautiful video for “Please” below and visit Ella’s website HERE.
DeXon Faya /// DELIVA
Since the weekend is getting closer and closer, I decided to look for a new club banger that will get me excited and quicken the transition from a hard work week to a great weekend.
DeXon Faya‘s new single is one of those rare bangers that you were waiting for without even knowing how much you needed it. The self written, produced and mixed ”DELIVA” is a total party masterpiece with its slick beats, teasing whispers and orgasmic chorus all made by Sima Guttman, a well known DJ and queer figure in Tel Aviv. The new single comes after her 2011 trip-hop debut “Sage” – a laid back & chill-out electronica made for the bedroom and the unspeakable things you do in there while it’s playing in the background. ”DELIVA” with its Peaches vibes and it’s very sexual statement is the first taste from her future album being in the made. Just play it on repeat and I can promise your body won’t stop dancing.
You can also check out her new monthly parties at “TAHAT” (Ibn Gabirol 170) all dedicated to the Macumbian music style and culture (listen to her amazing DJ set HERE) kicking off on the 26Th of November.
Niv Ast /// I Don’t Care
Often when my thoughts are blocked I seek out new sounds to unlock it and inject my mind with some new musical energy.
Niv Ast‘s new album “Defeats” is one of the many musical keys that helped me with unlock my mind. The Tel Aviv based producer and singer/songwriter has already released two albums. 2011 saw the release of “Like Sheep (we run from ourselves)” and in 2013 we were given “Goodbye” - both self-
You can CATCH him performing live tomorrow (22.10) at “KULI ALMA” accompanied by Adiel Goldman (who also appears in the album) & watch the beautiful video for “I Don’t Care” directed by Tommy Simone and listen to the new album below.
Liron Amram & The Panthers
Sometimes the need to make new and exciting music means you have to go back to your roots and discover there the first melodies that made a mark on you – a real one – only then you may come back making music that will influence others and make a mark.
This is where Liron Amram & The Panthers enter – founded by Liron Amram (the son of Aharon Amram which was the forerunner of Yemenite music in Israel, and is still regarded as one of the leading artists in the genre) and overseen by Yehuda Keisar – undoubtedly one of the greatest guitarist here. Liron Amram & The Panthers are making history by mixing between the old school Yemenite music with up-to-date music, bringing back the memories and melodies from his childhood home and giving them a new electronic, funky and even African groove interpretation and adding to it some 70′s rebellious vibes creating new and exciting music backed with true musical history that goes back hundreds of years and still stays new and fresh and you can also add timeless. Now Liron is in preparations for the release of the first official single later this year while working on the full album and touring all over the country. So make sure you’ll discover them and be part of their musical history making before everyone else.
CATCH them performing live TODAY (09.10) at “The Container” and watch the live outtakes below.
Zohara /// Soldier
Sometimes musicians need to get involved in their political, social and cultural passions and use their music to make a statement. But only some musicians are talented enough for their music is stand alone in that statement. To enable one song to make some kind of a difference.
“Soldier“, the first single from Zohara (Zohara Niddam) is one of those statement songs that can move your soul with or without additional rallies about unnecessary wars and soldiers that are sent to needless battles. But let’s leave the political talk to the politicians and concentrate on the incredible music – This electro driven song is the first hint from Zohara’s forthcoming debut album that she has been working on for the past 2 years. Working alongside musician & producer Yehezkel Raz, the pair have been recording in her own bedroom studio – and what a great hint it is! The album is full of beautiful electronic songs built from layers of crispy electronic sounds and samples and Zohara’s vocals flying above all of them sounding fresh and new.
CATCH her live TODAY (07.10) at the “Pasáž” and watch the “Soldier” video below.
Fafa Galoure /// Falling From Wonder
Music sometimes is an elusive thing that you have to catch and grab on it tightly, especially when it’s really good. So when you finally catch it you can be the happiest person on earth.
Fafa Galoure‘s music is exactly that kind of music – going through metamorphosis each and every time and growing from inside out. Founded in 2010 by Efrat Cohen (Lead Singer, Song-writer and Composer that grew up in London and later lived in New York ) with Moshe Baavour and Asi Ashkenazi being an integral part of the melodic and ideological resonance of this ensemble/band.
“Prototype” – the first unofficial EP released in 2012 was more piano based and intimate with its very personal lyrics developing to the later untitled EP from early 2014 with its guitar and drum driven influences and Efrat’s vocal coming out more clearly and strong making their statement of future metamorphosis with their forthcoming album that will be a full band album exploring more musical territories and continue making beautiful, exciting and yet very elusive music with heart-breaking lyrics and Efrat Cohen’s mesmerizing voice as part of this ensemble’s full vision.
CATCH them performing live and taking a form of a quartet (with Asi Ashkenazi, Karni Postel & Ofer Prion) tomorrow (07.10) at the “OzenBar” and check out the videos for “Falling From Wonder” and “Inside Your Heart (live)” below.
MY BEST ISRAELI ALBUMS OF THE YEAR 2014
It’s that time of the year again. The time to say the best wishes for the new year, get ready for a the big New Year dinner, looking back summarizing the old year and planning the new wishes and dreams for the next year and doing the most important and fun thing – choosing the albums and the music that made your past year so great. So here’s my best Israeli albums of the year, the albums that touched me deep inside and stayed there making me fall in love with them.
You can also listen to a special MIXTAPE with all of my favorite songs taken from each chosen album here:
ADAM COHEN | LAVAN
“Lavan” is one of those best kept treasures that you have to discover. Adam Cohen’s mesmerizing voice flying over soft electronic beats singing heart-breaking lyrics all produced in his bedroom is so beautiful that you’ll run to find his previous two albums so hurry up.
ASSAF SHATIL | PINE
“PINE” is a piano driven album, in which it is someone’s destiny for the piano to be more like an extension of the human body. The album is composed of twelve heart breaking and beautiful songs mastering the beauty of the piano and Assaf’s lyrics. This is the perfect album for this winter and any winter from now on. (Read full post)
COHEN | RAP
What a great album it is – 7 brilliantly mastered tracks with Cohen’s great flow on the mic and his soulfulness on the music and production (with great help from Jeremiah Jae & Samiyam) full of great hooks and beats. If you close your eyes and listen to this album you can totally forget the fact that you listen to Rap in Hebrew, that’s how good it is. (Read full post)
DANSKI | 11
DANSKI (Idan Shimoni) lives in a world that has its own emotional landscapes filled with textures of soft electronica, emotions and music. His voice is floating above everything like a ghost – soothing and comforting but at the same time makes you slightly discomforted. These collection of songs can make you drift away to cold places with the search after rays of light and some comfort. (Read Full Post)
ESTER RADA | ESTER RADA
Ester Rada is one of the sensational musicians in Tel Aviv right now. Her combination of Nu-Soul music with Jazzy and Funky flavours is one of those exceptional things making her debut album one of the best things around full of warm funky tunes and amazing ballads. (Read Full Post)
FLORA | EVERYTHING IS HERE
Flora’s new EP with its 6 great electronic tunes is one of those albums that you need to listen to when you’re on a big journey in a car or a train or even a plane. It will definitely make the journey better by painting it with subtle colors of beauty and emotion. (Read Full Post)
GARDEN CITY MOVEMENT | BENGALI CINEMA EP
After their first EP it was clear that Garden City Movement are defining new rules with their mixture of electronica and vocals making incredible music that is not afraid to break boundaries and define new kind of music. Their second EP “Bengali Cinema” proved to be even better and grown up with mesmerizing tunes and vocals. This year is going to be the year of their success in Tel Aviv and also abroad.
JOOVE | UNLOCK & GOOD LUCK
“Unlock & Good Luck”, complete with heartbreaking songs that combine electronic beats with folkie vibes to create a very special musical atmosphere unique to these guys and their music. If you love Hot Chip and miss the good indietronic music that makes you move your body while the tears roll down, JoovE is the answer you were waiting for. (Read full post)
LO KOHOT | LO KOHOT
the best way to describe Gilad Kahana & Tamir Muskat’s duo “Lo Kohot” is crazy ass balkan madness full of Gilad’s critical and very cynical lyrics and Tamir’s great beats combining Balkan, Arabic and other middle eastern influences. It’s great album to dance with but it will also make you think.
MICHA HERSHLIKEVITCH | KOL GIBOREY HA YALDUT
Micha’s debut album is an incredible Israeli album, with its’ unique sound, beautiful melodies and heartbreaking lyrics. All you need to do is just press the play button and let its’ sounds and Micha’s vocals and guitars to completely win you over by embracing your ears and your heart. (Read full post)
NORIA | CLEAR BACKGROUNDS
This beautiful album took the band one step further, adding to their special musical mixture of new Brit-Pop flavors, heard in perfect alternative pop songs. If you’re seeking it, “Clear Backgrounds” will give you some peace and quiet, but may also break you heart. So be careful… (Read full post)
RONI ALTER | GO WILD
Its 9 amazingly beautiful and heartbreaking songs, perfectly produced by Alon Lotringer, surround the strangeness she felt being in a new city, her longing for familiar feelings and places and the questions that appear in love. “Go Wild” is an album you’ll wish you had if ever left on a deserted island. (Read full post)
RUTH DOLORES WEISS | BESFAT BNEY ADAM
When I think about soulful and emotional singer Ruth Dolores Weiss‘s name comes first to my mind. Her ability to make all of your emotions to come up from deep places to the surface is incredible. Her latest self-produced album is one of those incredible albums that make you open up your chest and put your heart on the table while gently breaking it to pieces and gluing it back in the best way imagined.
SHLOMI SHABAN | TARGIL BE’HITORERUT
No doubt one of the best albums of the year with Tamir Muskat’s great production and Shlomi Shaban’s incredible lyrics. Instant classic with its 12 heartbreaking songs.
THE SECRET SEA | THE SECRET SEA
“The Secret Sea” is one of those rare bands that successfully calm me down, making everything sensible. Their first full album “The Secret Sea” showcasing their great abilities as a band to write and perform amazing pop tunes and timeless melodies and pour everything into an amazing album full of beautifully crafted songs such as “Afterlife”, “Slow Burning Light”, “Elegy” and “Not About Us”. (Read full post)
THE ANGELCY | EXIT INSIDE
The Angelcy’s songs are a mixture of sadness and happiness, a marching band that sings about the triumphs of the heart. Every time I listen to them I find myself crying while my heart is singing… Their full length debut is one of the best thing that will happen to your soul.
TOM GEFEN | THROUGH FIRE
One song, one perfect song, on repeat. One song, beautifully mastered song, that rips your heart out shapes it differently and puts it back where it belongs. That’s all you need in life. One song on endless repeat. That song is on Tom Gefen‘s debut EP “Through Fire” along with 3 other heartbreaking and amazing songs that will make you wish it was a full album with 10 songs at least. He worked with Ben Spector on the EP giving it an electronic fill combined with more live instrumental arrangements and with his true and wise lyrics sung by his magnetizing voice. (Read full post)
SHANA TOVA EVERYONE!
Matan Ben-Zvi /// The Unnecessary Joy
It’s still so hot outside so it’s hard to believe that autumn is on its way to us but I’m making sure to stock some beautiful autumn and winter music for the cold days that I love so much.
Matan Ben Zvi’s debut album “The Farewell of The Prodigal Son” is the right album to listen to when it’s windy outside with its’ 11 beautifully mastered songs all produced by Matan himself. Wild West sounds with rocky flavours alongside couple of powerful ballads and heartbreaking lyrics all making this album into a strong musical statement and as it says in the title – a farewell. Before this album Matan released an EP called “Awakening Project” in which he produced different musician singing their own written songs but all under his musical production – making him not only a singer songwriter but also a producer that not only producing himself but also other artists. Now after releasing the album and touring he’s leaving to New York to study and play his music to a bit different audience and discovering more sides to him as a musician.
Tamar Eisenman /// Nothing (Klum Lo)
Sometimes you need to go far away to eventually come back to what’s really familiar and close to you finding a shelter in that place.
That is what happened to the singer-songwriter, producer and guitar phenomena Tamar Eisenman who released 3 albums (plus one EP) in English and now she’s going to release her forthcoming album, the first one in Hebrew, and somehow it feels and sounds like the natural thing to do for her. Her famous guitar abilities are still there and her fine energy is also there but suddenly the language is different. Hebrew it a tough language to sing and you must know how to master it and Tamar is mastering the lyrics perfectly and her voice gives to the song its’ final great touch. Soon the album will be out and meanwhile she’s finished yet another album in English and touring with her great songs. It’s hard to not totally fall in love with a strong woman and her guitar.
You can CATCH her performing (along side DJ Yoav Arnon) today (16.09) at Abraxas Bar as part of the “ABSOLUT TRIPLE” nights that connects Musician with DJ’s in a new way to create a special and one-night-only show.