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.
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.“
Tel Aviv native Barak Grossberg has recently released his guitar-heavy debut single “Baolam Ha’Amiti” (In The Real World).
Produced and recorded by Assaf Shahar, previously a sound tech on tracks by Hanan Ben-Ari and Roi Lavi & The Good Guys, “Baolam Ha’Amiti” is a chaotic blast of psychedelic noise rock, full of bruising guitars and manically shouted vocals that build in intensity over the course of the song, all kept tight and focused by the rhythm section of Grossberg’s bandmates, bassist Ariel Harosh and drummer Mor Harpazi. The lyrics, reportedly based on the second chapter of Tanya (Grossberg is a baal teshuva through Chabad), deal with the conflict between man’s spiritual and physical nature.
A release concert for the single will be held on Thursday, September 7, at the Tel Aviv pub Bar Giyora. Support acts will include blues rocker Shlomo Mizrachi; Omri Vitis, frontman of Grossberg’s previous post-grunge band The Bells; and brother Yonatan Grossberg, of the metal band Kadachat (Fever). Details and ticket info can be found here.
Legendary Israeli folk rocker Ehud Banai has released a new music video for his song “Angel“, which also features British jazz/folk veteran Michael Chapman. The track is the lead single from Banai and Chapman’s new joint album EB=MC², which just released yesterday. You can find streaming links for the album here.
“Angel” makes a compelling case for the two artists uniting. Chapman is the obvious standout, delivering the song’s beautifully spiritual lyrics in a world-weary rasp that sounds like a cross between Tom Waits and the late great Leonard Cohen. (Really, the whole song sounds like it could be a lost track from Cohen’s final album.) Banai, meanwhile, provides a Hebrew verse and Mizrahi-style vocalizing that make a hauntingly perfect counterpoint to the song’s dark country feel, like Jo Amar guesting on a Johnny Cash song.