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.
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.
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.