Monday, October 16, 2017

Video: Mr. Shabbos, "Borei Nefashos"

Hasidic entertainer R' Josh Alpert, aka Mr. Shabbos, recently released a video for his song "Borei Nefashos". Alpert composed the song and co-directed with Dovid Tenenbaum the video, which was also written by Alpert's wife, Pircha Alpert, and filmed at Camp Nageela in Lawrence, NY.

The track, a throbbing techno tune, is something of a departure for Alpert, who originally made his name in the JM underground, both as a Celtic/bluegrass solo artist and through association with Jewish punk bands like Moshiach Oi! and White Shabbos (his brother, Paul "Pesach Simcha" Alpert, drums for both). Not that his old identity has been completely discarded: Alpert maintains his cowboy-hatted look in the video, and parts of the song's melody have a distinct country twang.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

"Kulam Sharim": Benny Friedman plus muppets

The new video for "Kulam Sharim", the latest single from Benny Friedman's most recent album Fill the World With Light, has some...interesting guests.

The clip, directed and produced by Chaim Hershkowitz, has Friedman interacting with the felt-covered puppet "cast" from the popular frum children's DVD series Mitzvah Boulevard. While the gimmick doesn't lend much besides an awkward framing device and some questionable instrument miming, the song itself - a bouncy dance-pop track courtesy of producer Sruly Meyer and composer duo Eli Klein & Yitzy Berry - is likeable enough to stand on its own. (Side note: What is with JM artists taking forever to release singles? This album came out almost a year ago.)

Nuriel Hadad releases "Emuna"

Kiryat Gat-based vocalist Nuriel Hadad has released his sophomore single "Emuna". (He debuted with "B'Rigei Osher" in June.)  The track, an oud-tinged Latin jazz/pop groove, was co-written by Hadad with Shai Ravizda, who also composed it, while Reuven Chiyun produced and arranged.

The 26-year-old Hadad has been musically active since 2006, appearing in several reality singing competitions on Israeli TV, performing with an orchestra at The Opera House in Tel Aviv, and getting significant local radio play from his debut single. It is unknown if a full-length album is in the works.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Lazer Lloyd releases new album Freedom's Child

Hasidic bluesman Lazer Lloyd has just today released his latest studio album, entitled Freedom's Child.

The album, released through Lots of Love Records, was co-produced by Lloyd and Yocheved "Yo" Seidman, with an assist on several tracks by David Ivory (Halestorm, The Roots), and was recorded in Israel and Pennsylania. It features 11 new original songs as well as a cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower". You can hear the album's latest single, the heartfelt social protest anthem "America", below.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Video: Rogers Park, "Ki Hinei Kachomer"

Chicago folksters Rogers Park make an unexpectedly strong impression with their new video for "Ki Hinei Kachomer", the first single from their upcoming album of niggunim and Yiddish songs (currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo).

Based on an old Chabad nigun for the Yom Kippur prayer, the surprisingly moving and creative project has an equally surprising amount of talent behind it: Matt Dougherty (Against the Current, Pop Evil) produced, renowned cellist Laura Melnicoff is featured, and group members Mordy Kurtz and Yosef Peysin directed the clip with the help of filmmaker Atara Wolf.

Y-Studs release "Evolution of Jewish Music"

In an apparent response to both Pentatonix and the Benny Friedman/Meir Kay collab from a few months ago, a cappella group Y-Studs have released their own "Evolution of Jewish Music" clip. The medley was arranged by Ben Bram, recorded by Mordy Weinstein, and mixed and mastered by Ed Boyer, while the clip was directed by Shlomo Weprin of Shlomotions

Rather than focusing on individual songs and artists like the Friedman/Kay version, the Y-Studs instead stray closer to the Pentatonix version by offering a sampling of different eras, beginning in the 9th century and working their way to the 2010s.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Maccabeats release video for "This Is The New Year"

A capella stars The Maccabeats have released their latest music video, a Rosh Hashana-themed creation entitled "This Is The New Year". Arranged by Rob Dietz, the single is a cover of the eponymous song by A Great Big World, the NYC indie pop band best known for their 2013 hit "Say Something".

Nussy Fuchs ft. Nachman Fuchs, "Rebbe"

Hasidic artist Nussy Fuchs, accompanied by his older brother Nachman Fuchs, has released a new single entitled "Rebbe". Composed by Nussy and arranged by Yanky Cohen, the track is a pleasantly atmospheric kumzits song adorned with Moog synthesizer and unexpectedly heavy guitars courtesy of Nachman Halevitz.

Avraham Fried and nephews to unite in Israel

JM veteran Avraham Fried will be joined by his nephews - who happen to include equally popular vocalists Benny Friedman, Simche Friedman, Eli Marcus, and 8th Day's Shmuel and Bentzi Marcus - at an upcoming concert.

Per Arutz Sheva, the long-awaited concert will be on October 9, during Chol Hamoed Sukkos, at the Binyanei Hauma Convention Center in Jerusalem. A7 also did a video interview with Fried about the event, which you can watch below. More info about the concert can be found here.

Elisha Birnbaum debuts with single "Akavot"

Singer-songwriter Elisha Birnbaum, who has made his name touring with the likes of Yonatan Razel and Hanan Ben-Ari, has finally made his debut with the single "Akavot" (Tracks). The song, an alt-rock power ballad that draws on the classic "Footprints in the Sand" parable, was produced by Eyal Mazig, who also arranged it with Birnbaum. A debut album is reportedly in the works.