Hardcore punks Moshiach Oi! have released a lyric video for “Sitra Achra is Dangerous“, off their latest album Rock Rabeinu. The clip, which evokes both street art and Breslov gedolim, was created by Fiverr user ‘guywhoedits’.
The lyrics are themed around spiritual warfare (“sitra achra” is a Kabbalistic term meaning “Other Side”, the realm of evil), with audio samples from an unnamed rav emphasizing the emptiness of the physical world. Musically, the song is one of the heavier on the album, bordering on metal in the intro, but their punk lineage is revealed through some Black Flag references – the opening chant is from “Rise Above”, while the verse guitar riff is modeled on “Six Pack”.
Indie electro artist Ron Isaiah aka SuperFunkBox recently premiered his new single “Ginger Boom” on Soundcloud. Trippy as always, the Florida native’s latest consists of an alternating loop of a chirping electro build, synth organ and strings straight from a Danny Elfman soundtrack, and Isaiah’s stream-of-consciousness spoken word poetry that seems to deal with letting go of past mistakes, supported by a tightly wound drum track.
LA-based spoken word poet Rachel Kann has released a video for her composition “Dancing Lesson (Or How To Let The Words Leave You)“. The clip, which was a Finalist and Curator’s Choice at the Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival earlier this year, is directed by Bradford L. Cooper, who also crafted the backing music with producer Atom Smith. Kann and Jhon Gonzalez handled the choreography.
Over a simmering beat of tribal drums, synth chirps and buzzes, and a groovy bassline, Kann’s signature earthy voice passionately encourages listeners to shed feelings of shame and frustration to better pursue an “ineffable” internal source of inspiration. The clip illustrates this theme by showing Kann and various women as they express their pain through interpretive dance while screaming cathartically.
Kann, an established figure in the performance poetry world, has had her work featured on TEDx Talks, NPR, and the podcast Welcome to Night Vale. She has released two poetry collections and three spoken word albums, and is a regular contributor to Hevria.
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.
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.“