Yuda & The Retro Drop New Years Single “As Long As The Candle Is Lit”

Yuda & The Retro, the reggae rock side project of Aharit Hayamim frontman Yehuda Leuchter, have released a new song for the High Holidays entitled “Kol Od Haner Dolek” (As Long As The Candle Is Lit).

The track, a cool, somber jam about maintaining hope in dark times, was produced by David Lifshitz, who also sings on the song and wrote the lyrics based on the teachings of R’ Yisroel Salanter, and features Leuchter’s AH bandmate Rafael Barkats on saxophone.

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Newcomer YM Covers Leonard Cohen, Preps Debut Album

YM (Yitzchok Meir Malek), an under-the-radar American-Israeli folksinger, has been making his mark this past week with several new releases and announcements.

First is his recently-released cover of the late Leonard Cohen‘s classic “Who By Fire“, timed for both the High Holidays and the recent string of natural disasters. The cover distinguishes itself by YM’s overlaid vocals, blending a Cohenesque low end with a Dylanesque high end, and by a featured performance from oudist Elyasaf Bashari.

He has also released a music video for his bouncy love ballad “Love Is Like A Bird“, produced by Daniel Goldstein and directed by Shlomo Weprin.

Both songs, as it happens, are heralds of the singer-songwriter’s upcoming debut album, Dear God, which is currently being crowdfunded on the Israeli site Headstart. The album’s planned title track is another cover, this one of “Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)” by the supergroup Monsters of Folk. You can sample the album below and contribute here.

Originally from New York before moving to Jerusalem, YM was mentored by Grammy-winning guitarist C Lanzbom and cites among his influences Cohen, Dylan, Marley, Sinatra, and Carlebach. He has described his sound as “alternative rock meets R&B with a touch of pop” and “a classy and suave flirtation of jazzy flows and bluesy bass, peppered with the occasional ballad and campus quad acoustic.