British-Israeli folk/soul duo The Portnoy Brothers (Sruli and Mendy Portnoy) have released a new song in honor of Yom Yerushalayim. Titled “A Love Song For Jerusalem“, the song is a jazz/R&B cover of Naomi Shemer’s classic “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav” (Jerusalem of Gold). The video, filmed and edited by Basti Hansen, has various residents of the land holding signs that convey what Jerusalem means to them. (One gentleman hilariously replies with “Beer”.)
The Portnoy Brothers, originally from Manchester, made their mark last year with their Indiegogo-funded debut album Learn to Love, one of my personal favorite Jewish albums of 2016. Since that album’s release, they have collaborated with Alex Clare on a series of acoustic videos from his last album and are now in the midst of their “A Beatle A Day” cover series on Facebook.
Israeli alternative artist The Botzer Project (Eliezer Botzer) has released a new single “Pardes Rimonim” (Orchard of Pomegranates). Produced, arranged, and co-composed by Ori Avni, the song is dedicated to Botzer’s daughter, with the chorus telling her “Your goodness will prevail over all the broken pieces / And slowly you will walk into the orchard of pomegranates“. He is currently working on his third album with Avni as producer.
You can check it out on YouTube and Bandcamp below.
“Oriental metal” founders Orphaned Land are celebrating their 25th anniversary with the release of a new EP, Orphaned Land & Friends, on Century Media on Friday. Comprised of previously recorded tracks that were either given limited release or none at all, the album features collaborations with artists like Steven Wilson, Yehuda Poliker, Erkin Koray, and Morgan Magal. One of the album’s tracks, a live version of “M I ?” with Steven Wilson, can be heard below. Streaming and download links for the record can be found here.
Ex-Hasidic alt-reggae star Matisyahu recently debuted an official video for his single “Back to the Old“. The video, directed, shot, and edited by Shlomo Weprin of Shlomotions, had its exclusive premiere on Conan O’Brien’s “Team Coco” website as part of its Fresh Noises section.
“Back to the Old” is featured on Matisyahu’s new album Undercurrent, which is scheduled to drop May 19. It’s available for pre-order here. He can next be seen live at the California Roots Festival on May 26 in Monterey, CA.
Zusha‘s Shlomo Gaisin and Zachariah Goldschmiedt, together with Levi Robin, just posted a Facebook video of them singing the “Alter Rebbe’s niggun erev shabbos”. Thought it would be a great way to end the week here on JMU.