Smadar Ronen /// Ma’agalim (Circuits)
Escapism is not a bad thing especially in times like this. All I need to do is sort my music collection and find something that will take me to faraway places…
Smadar Ronen‘s debut album “Hezi Kadur” is the perfect pill to take and escape from all this troubling days. After 4 years in progress and 11 songs written by Smadar herself and produced by Yonatan Levital “Hezi Kadur” has the perfect tension between sadness and happiness with its’ Jazzy flavored tunes on the one hand and a Folky tenderness on the other and Smadar’s beautiful and soulful voice on top of it all backed by great musicians who help to fill the music with extra meaning.
Cohen /// Rak Ani (Only Me)
Hebrew is usually not the best language for Rap music and that’s the reason why Hip Hop & Rap are so rare around here but from time to time you can stumble into great local Rappers who invent & freshen up the scene.
Cohen (AKA Michael Cohen) is one of those local Rap innovators who makes Rap & Hip Hop in Hebrew successfully without losing the true meaning of the genre while keeping the soulfulness of it. After 2 great releases that entirely changed the local Hip Hop’s face as the half of “Cohen@Mushon” (with Michael Moshonov) and after the world acclaimed “Milk & Honey Vol.1″ mixtape under his DJ pseudonym “CohenBeats” he’s finally releasing the mini-album “RAP”, his first solo as Cohen. And 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.
Adaam James /// You’re Like Bad TV
When the days get mad outside I always prefer to go to a safe place and for me MUSIC is the safest place on earth.
Adaam James is one of those elusive musicians that makes his wonderful music right under our noses but if you’re lucky enough to catch him you’ll fall in love instantly. After studying History and Journalism and composing numerous scores for film and theater he released his debut album “How About Now?” full of great tunes sung mostly by other talents mostly because Adaam’s shyness and him wanting to be more in the back of the music. “Good Applied to People” (coming out this week), His 2nd album is a totally different story and by the first 2 singles that came out you can finally not only hear Adaam’s great musical talent but also see him in action. Apparently his days of shyness are over and that’s a really big news cause now you can can enjoy his great music and lyrics and take part in his musical experience.
These days his on tour with his “RETIRED CON ARTIST” troupe performing one last show in Tel Aviv right before he will be leaving to study in Columbia University and spend time in New York making music and be moved by the city’s fire escapes.
Catch them performing one last time on the 14th of July at “OzenBar” and watch the videos for “You’re Like Bad TV” & “”Phantoms” below.
Roni Alter /// Let’s Go On The Run
My feelings have always been connected to music. As a kid, I had a dream about music playing everywhere; coming out from huge speakers hanging from the skies all over the world; giving everyone the perfect soundtrack to their lives. But then I got my first set of headphones. Ever since this remarkable pairing, the connection between music and my emotions has grown deeper and more inseparable. I always find it hard to explain why music triggers specific areas in the heart, but this can be left unexplained as you let yourself feel every beat and note, collecting more and more songs that become your personal soundtrack to every smile and tear.
Roni Alter‘s music is the perfect addition to your personal soundtrack. If I could (outside of my dream world), I would play her on huge speakers all across the world. “Go Wild“ is her second solo album released earlier this year. After many years of collaborating with artists like Arik Einstein, Dudu Tassa and with Metropolin Project as the lead singer, she debuted her very appreciated solo Hebrew album, “Kis Avir”. Alter then moved to Paris where she wrote “Go Wild” entirely in English and entirely on her own.
Its 9 amazingly beautiful and heartbreaking songs, perfectly produced by Alon Lotringer (co-producer of her debut album), 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.
Watch the videos for “Let’s Go On The Run” and “Lazy” (directed by Roni & me). CATCH her live at “Tmuna Theater” on the 9th of June.
100 Musicians, 100 Pictures, 100 Posts
When I started to write “Pearls” I actually couldn’t imagine the 100 post never the less 100 pictures but here it is and it’s the perfect time to stop for a bit and celebrate this moment. As you may know music is my life and given the opportunity to write about it and discover new and exciting music to tell about to the rest of the world is pretty much all I need in this lifetime…
So Thank you for reading “Pearls” – Your ears are like wings to music – stay tuned for the next 100 (at least…) musicians, pictures and posts.
Noria /// My Heart & My Mind
Big cities have a tendency of being far too loud and sometimes, can make you go insane! New buildings are built, old ones are improved; garbage trucks pick up yesterday’s memories and airplanes don’t stop coming and going. As a big-city person, you can get the itch to leave everything behind for just a tiny slice of quietness. My suggestion is to shut the door, close all the windows, turn the phone off, put your headphones on and let your favorite music play you into a peaceful quietness.
Right now my go to is NORIA, a band made up of Nir Tsfaty (in the picture above), Dotan Moshanov, Alon Peretz, Orri Dror and Noa Segal. Their music is hard to define, but that’s what makes it so great. “Anthers”, their first EP – with 4 incredible songs – came out in 2011 and presented what can be best described as a blend of post-rockwith electronic & Icelandic flavors. In 2013 Noria released “Clear Backgrounds”, their first full-length album. 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…
Watch the stunning video for “My Heart & My Mind” below and CATCH them live on May 30th at Levontin7.
Joove /// Another Candle On The Cake
Quite often the people around me hear me say how in love I am with this band or with this song or even with music in general. Being that I fall in love so often, it’s far easier to have a music blog where I can write about each note, beat or voice that makes me fall in love. And that’s precisely what happened when I heard JoovE for the first time.
JoovE is Yuval Shenhar & Aviad Zinemanas. Yuval started the band as a side project and then joined forces with Aviad. Now they are finally releasing their debut album “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.
Watch the videos for “Another Candle On The Cake” & “Present” below and CATCH them performing Today (27.05) at the Pasáž.
Micha Hershlikevitch /// Kol Givorey Ha’Yaldut (All My Childhood Heroes)
There’s no better way to welcome the warm days that are coming upon us than to listen to a beautiful album, full of comforting songs, that make the heart smile and sing along.
Micha Hershlikevitch is one of those guitarists that, after years of playing with nearly every great artist in Israel, decided to make his dream of taking over the spotlight come true and stand in the middle of the stage, playing his own material. I met Micha a few years ago and from the first time he sent me his early sketches and demos – what would become his debut solo album – I knew that this moment would come. “Ahrey Ma She’Avar” is an incredible Israeli album, with its’ unique sound, beautiful melodies and heartbreaking lyrics, all sung by Micha’s caressing voice.
I can promise that you’ll hear more about Micha in the near future – that’s what happens to musicians like him, who pour their heart and soul into their music.
Watch the videos for “Kol Givorey Ha’Yaldut” & “Ahrey Ma She’Avar” below and be sure to CATCH Micha when he debuts his album at the “Tmuna Theater”, on May 26th.
Sarit Barkan /// Voodoo
Try to imagine yourself an Opera singer breaking all the rules and becoming into fabulous Indie singer-songwriter and you’ll get Sarit Barkan.
Sarit Barkan is one of those great late blooming musicians that after years of studying the rules of the Opera world decided to make a switch, leave the royalty of the Opera life and try to become what she always wanted to be – a singer-songwriter that writes and sings about her personal life and heart breaks. She released her debut album in late 2013 calling it brilliantly “How To Compose A Musician” – a personal guide to the rules of becoming a musician from her personal view with 6 great songs perfectly combining beautiful tunes, rock flavoured attitude and her expressive vocals while leaving her Opera days totally behind. The songs in the album were written by Sarit herself and produced by Ori Winokur who worked in the past with The Secret Sea, Asaf Avidan and many others.
Guy Gelem /// Reappearance
Sometimes in music you don’t need a bunch of words to express feelings, yours or those of the artist. Sometimes all we need is the instrumental version of our deepest feelings where the words are hiding behind the twists and turns of the instruments playing a sort of hide and seek game in an emotional forest without the need to expose themselves.
Guy Gelem‘s mysterious music is by definition one of the best poetic instrumental music I came upon and it happened totally by mistake in one of my usual internet quests when I discovered the delicate and beautiful “Eighteen Minutes” (released in 2012 by “Mini50 Records”) and the guitar & cello work of “Tides” (released in 2011 by “Quiet Design”). I was absolutely fascinated by Guy’s perfect lyrical combination of Cello, minimal electronics and sometimes a guitar coming all together as if they were the soundtrack of a not yet born movie about the core of all feelings on this planet. Now, after living for a while in the Czech Republic and London the Israel born electroacoustic composer and cellist is back and ready to release his next masterpiece “Reappearance” (via the US based label “Time Released Sound”) with its’ 4-piece cello works each dedicated to a different period of the day – You can purchase a very limited edition of the record HERE.
Listen below to “Movement 1 (Morning)” & “Movement 3 (Evening)” taken from the “Reappearance” album and also to “The Seventh” taken from “Eighteen Minutes”.