Tag Archives: indie rock

SuperFunkBox releases new song “Prayer”

Jerusalem-based indie-electro artist SuperFunkBox has released a new track entitled “Prayer” to his ReverbNation page. The song itself is a heady blend of Mediterranean melody, fuzzed-out industrial-style beat, and vocals that range from ghostly wailing to forceful rapping. You can check it out below.

SuperFunkBox is the downtempo brainchild of Ron Isaiah, a multi-instrumentalist and independent TV producer who relocated to Israel from Orlando, Florida. He has released four records since 2013, including his most recent album ScrubScribe, which came out in February and is available on Bandcamp. You can also find his music on Soundcloud and YouTube.

Video: Darshan ft. MorningAltars, “Remember the Future”

Indie rap duo Darshan (ePRHYME and Shir Yaakov) have released a video for “Remember the Future”, a track from their 2015 album Deeper and Higher. The video features the designs of MorningAltars (Day Schildkret), an “earth altar artist” based in California.

Levi Robin Releases New Single “Airplane” (Updated)

UPDATE: Official YouTube audio added.

Speaking of Matisyahu proteges…Indie folk singer/songwriter Levi Robin has just released “Airplane”, the second single from his as-yet-untitled full-length album with producers Stu Brooks and Joel Hamilton.

Over a stirring background of twangy western guitar and whooping background vocals, Robin sings of a world beyond the physical: “Would you believe me if I told you/There’s a sun beyond the clouds?…I’ll take you on an airplane/Show you what your eyes don’t see”.

You can hear the song on Soundcloud (below), Spotify, and iTunes.

Mini-Review: Eviatar Banai, “Leshonot Shel Esh” (Flames)

Eviatar Banai has never been the type to stay in one spot musically. A member of one of Israel’s most prolific showbiz families, he spent the late ’90s transitioning between piano-driven chamber pop and moody experimental electronica, all the while exuding era-appropriate angst, alienation, and self-loathing – think Ben Folds meets Radiohead with a dash of Sting. But when he joined his cousin, folk rocker Ehud Banai, in becoming Orthodox in the early 2000s, not only did his lyrics start to take on a more spiritual sheen, but his subsequent two albums evolved his sound into a more conventional alternative rock setup. This approach brought him back into the Israeli mainstream, but had some of his old fans wondering if a devoutly religious family man could ever match the intensity of the angry young indie rocker he had once been.

Fortunately, over the past decade, Banai has managed to find compromise, both spiritually and musically. His last album, 2013’s Yafa Kalevana (Pretty as the Moon), brought him into a dreamy indie pop realm and revived his trademark instinct to question absolutely everything, even his own religious commitment. Leshonot Shel Esh (Flames), which just released this week, takes that framework and doubles down on it.

With production handled by Tamir Muskat of Balkan Beat Box, there are some truly sublime songs here. Opener “Or BaTzel” (Light in the Shadow) is indie folk just aching with bittersweet longing. The title track is a tense build to a mizrahi firebomb of a chorus. “Chotzim Et HaRechov” (Crossing the Street) has some of Banai’s most chillingly good vocals on record. “Achshav” (Now) and “Omes Yeter” (Overload) do an excellent job of blending somberness with urgency. And “Tamid Lifnei HaGeshem” (Always Before the Rain) is just plain beautiful.


Not everything lands, of course: “Pergola” (It’s An English Word, Look It Up) is fun and clever in its mockery of Banai’s public image but a bit too self-aware to really click; “Adam Nizrak” (Man Was Thrown) suffers from serious verse/chorus disconnect; “Ata” (You), another Banai duet with glam rocker Aviv Geffen, has a nice melody but is almost caveman-like in its lyrical simplicity. Really, much of the tail end of the album seems out of place, as if the songs were meant for a different album and just happened to end up here.

But overall, Banai gets more right than wrong here, and what he gets right is so beautifully well-crafted as to completely overshadow the missteps.

Leshonot Shel Esh is available to stream on Bandcamp (below) and Spotify, and can be purchased on Amazon and iTunes. You can also follow Eviatar Banai on his website and on Facebook.

Zeke Finn Releases Debut EP

Being long removed from peak pop culture influence hasn’t stopped Matisyahu from continuing to impact the JM scene through a number of proteges. The latest of these is Ithaca-based indie rapper Zeke Finn, whose self-titled debut EP, produced by Stu Brooks, comes out today.

While Finn draws from a lot of the same wells as his mentor – hip-hop, reggae, alternative, jam – he has something a bit darker and weirder going on. Whereas Matis made his name as a friendly role model for the troubled youth, Zeke Finn IS that troubled youth, and he has no problem putting his very human flaws and confusion front and center, whether or not they’re going to get solved. Musically, his website says he grew up hearing hippie jam bands at GrassRoots Festival, and there’s very much a trippiness to his dream-pop-inspired beats that makes a delicious counterpoint to the confessional lyrics.

You can check out his video for “Plight”, featuring the Beardless One himself, below: