Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sefira A Capella season kicks off

Pesach is over, sefirah is in full swing, and the JM world has wasted no time in getting the requisite annual a capella market going. Our friend TheAsh (of the That's Frum!? blog) will have a piece here shortly listing the best Jewish a capella songs you've never heard, but first let's look at the ones that dropped in the last 24 hours. We have:

  • Nemouel (Nemouel Harroch) with this self-arranged a capella version of "Elokai", his hit single from earlier this year.

  • The Israeli Malchus Choir with their "Galician March". The piece, with vocals arranged by Pinchas Bichler, is from the choir's upcoming a capella album Ashreichem Yisrael, which was distributed early to readers of the Eida Chareidis magazine Kehala Kadisha.

  • Elad Shaer with a vocal version of his single "Koreh BeShimcha", here arranged and produced by Yaniv Blass.

  • And finally, composer Udi Damari (best known for his work with Haim Israel and others) and his vocal (and all Hebrew) arrangement of Benny Friedman's big hit single "Ivri Anochi".

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Matisyahu releases new single "Back to the Old"

Matisyahu has released his new single "Back to the Old", the second single from his
upcoming album Undercurrent, due out May 19 from Fallen Sparks Records and Thirty Tigers. You can check out the song below.

On the subject of the lyrics, Matisyahu told Billboard, "'Back to the Old' is the story of Abraham returning home to a whole new world after his earth-shattering breakthroughs and breakdowns up on the mountain. For me this was paralleled by moving back home 10 minutes from where I grew up in NY and starting my life again."

Undercurrent is available to pre-order on iTunes, Amazon, and PledgeMusic. Matisyahu will be embarking on a West Coast tour with UB40 and Raging Fyah in July.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Video: The Maccabeats, "Mah Nishtanah"

A cappella masterminds The Maccabeats have released a rendition of "Mah Nishtanah" for Passover. The catch? In addition to their voices, the video has them using items from the seder (wineglasses, haggadah, breaking matzah, etc.) to add to the beat.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Shtar releases Pesach single "Echad Mi Yodea"

Hip-hop unit Shtar has released a new single and video for Pesach entitled "Echad Mi Yodea", of course referencing the famous Pesach song of the same name. The track was recorded and produced at Redstone Studios, owned by the band's guitarist/songwriter Brad Rubinstein, while Yirmiyahu Vann created the video. One line of the song is credited to Johnnie Gordon, Rubinstein's former Lisp bandmate. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Video: Nuriel debut with "Beautiful Day"

Jerusalem-based alt-folk band Nuriel have released their debut single and video, "Beautiful Day". The track was recorded at Redstone Studios with mixer Yehuda Zeytim, while the video is credited to Danny Gold and Modan Films.

While only a couple years old, Nuriel comes pre-packaged with considerable J-Rock cred: three-fifths of the band (frontman Yonatan Attias and his brothers David and Michael) are the sons of Reva L'Sheva percussionist Yitzhak Attias and Tofa'ah flautist Tamar Attias, while drummer Tzvi Solomons is a member of Shtar. While this is their first studio work, they have several live tracks on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

8th Day release "Kapayim" video

Chabad duo 8th Day have released a video for "Kapayim", the second single off their recent album Slow Down. Composed and arranged by the Marcus brothers and mixed by Bruce Witkin of Unison Music, the Mizrahi-flavored song is a Hebrew-language tribute to Israel, name-checking various cities and regions in the country while encouraging listeners to "kapayim" (clap hands) for Jerusalem. The video, created by Shmuly Levitin, follows the theme with a montage of photos from the region.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Video: The Living Wells, "The Flow"

Alt-rap duo The Living Wells have released a video for "The Flow", the latest single from their mixtape Folk Rap. The high-energy video was filmed in Israel by director Drew Feldman. The song, which interpolates Nico and Vinz' "Am I Wrong", has Living Wells frontman Moshe Friedman chronicling his personal and spiritual evolution and the people he's met and lost along the way.

Folk Rap is available to stream on YouTube as well as download free from The Living Wells' official website.

Hillel Gross releases debut single "Horeini"

Brooklyn-based vocalist Hillel Gross has released his debut single "Horeini". Composed by Gross and produced and arranged by Naftali Schnitzler (Beri Weber, Lipa Schmeltzer), the ballad features a mixture of Hebrew pesukim and original Yiddish lyrics that, according to the video description, relate to "our strong connection to Hashem".

Gross is reportedly working on a full-length album with Schnitzler producing.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ben Snof releases new single "Harega Shelanu" (Our Moment)

Israeli soul singer Ben Snof has released his newest single "Harega Shelanu" (Our Moment). The song, an original-lyrics wedding ballad that highlights Snof's impressive vocal range, is produced and arranged by his longtime collaborator Yogev Samina, while Kineret Samina wrote and composed the track.

Born in Tzfat, Snof began singing at age 7 as a soloist in the Pirchei Tzfat choir. He was brought up secular but became religious after releasing his first album in 1999 and retired from music for a time. He returned ten years later and has since released two more albums (2009's Hineh Hu Bo and 2010's The Journey) as well as several successful singles.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Mordechai Ben David releases single "Boee Veshalom" for granddaughter's wedding

Veteran Hasidic crooner Mordechai Ben David recently released his new single, "Boee Veshalom", in honor of his granddaughter's wedding (the daughter of his son Yeedle Werdyger, also a big Hasidic star). The song was composed and arranged by established frum-pop songwriters Eli Klein and Yitzy Berry.

(Note: The song has not been given an official release on any easily shareable platform, so I just uploaded it to my personal Soundcloud, as you can see below.)

(Hat tip to Yossi Zweig at The Jewish Insights)