Brooklyn-based world-folk ensemble Sandcatchers, fronted by guitarist, composer, and Tzadik Records regular Yoshie Fruchter, have taken to PledgeMusic to crowdfund the production and distribution of their debut album What We Found Along the Way, tentatively planned for October. You can find out more about the campaign here.
Formed at Cheryl’s restaurant in Brooklyn, Sandcatchers describe their sound as “oud meets lap steel”, a blend of Arabic maqam and Appalachian mountain music, with a little jazz, folk, and bluegrass thrown in for good measure. They previously released a self-titled EP in February of last year (see below), but Found will be their first full-length album.
Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Mikhal (Mikhal Weiner) has released a colorful stop-motion video for her song “Clouds“, off her debut album, Daughter of the Sea, which released in May. You can check out the video below.
Born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel, Weiner is a classically-trained composer, having studied at both Rimon College in Israel and Berklee College in Boston, and her classical pieces have been performed by the likes of Ehud Ettun, the Esterhazy Quartet, and the ALEA III Chamber Orchestra. Her album blends her classical background with folk, funk, pop, grunge, and spoken word, influenced by artists like Ani DiFranco, Joni Mitchell, Aaron Copland and Bjork, with lyrics ranging from abstract poetry to scathing social commentary.
Daughter of the Sea can be purchased on Mikhal’s website, as well as on iTunes and Amazon, and is available to stream on Soundcloud and Spotify.
Israeli artist Yuval Sela released his sophomore album Emunatcha Baleilot (Your Faithfulness At Night) last month. You can check out the title track, featuring Shachar Ariel, and the album on Spotify below.
Building on his debut, 2011’s folk-centric Yomim Tovim (Good Days), the new album sees Sela’s sound develop into a haunting blend of blues, country, and Middle Eastern. Over twanging guitars and shuffling drums, Sela rumbles out melancholic lyrics in a gravelly bass to rival the late Johnny Cash. The result is rich, deep, and sticks to the bones of the soul.
(h/t Ash at That’s Frum!?)
DJ duo Dreams In Static (comprised of Erez “Diwon” Safar and Levi “Dugans” Martinez) have just released their sophomore album Part of the Machine through Diwon’s Bancs Media label. The album features vocals from Brooklyn-based soul singer Akie Bermiss, as well as LA-based gospel singer Ashley Rachelle and her Baptist church choir. You can check out the video for the title track and the full album on Bandcamp below.
Dreams in Static originated as a side project for Safar, who is also the founder of Jewish hip hop label Shemspeed. They released their debut album, Serene Poetic, in 2012.
Esther S., a singer-songwriter and producer from Montreal, just released her new EP In The Fog last week through her label Softsonic. You can check it out below.
The EP is an alluring bit of indie-pop, full of ethereal keyboards and haunting harmonies. Lyrically, Esther S. doesn’t seem to wear her faith on her sleeve, but it’s easy to see the record’s theme of turning to a higher power in times of distress.
Esther S. (full name Esther Spiegelman) has had a long career in music. Besides for her previous solos (2014’s Home EP and the 2015 album Paper Planes), she has also performed with her brother Yankie as Lets Be Giants, as well as in the duo Bright September with Stephane Lorello.