Best Albums of 2015

A-WA <BR>“Habib Galbi”

“Habib Galbi”

“We’ve been singing ever since we were little girls, and over the years we kept on studying music, playing and performing together. Music was always our passion,” A-WA told us in an interview.

When you take three talented sisters who breathed music from the time they were infants, and let them find their groove and style under the scorching Israeli desert sun, you get a unique female group that blends perfectly together.

A-WA’s debut album “Habib Galbi” is a fun piece which contains great thoughtfulness of old time mid-eastern manners, and the fast pace growth of the modern world. Just like the eponymous single, the whole record is a brilliant mix of old Arabic music and modern Gyps-Hop rhythms.

♪♫ Listen: “Habib Galbi

A-WA on Facebook, Twitter, www.

Dana Ivgy <BR>“ID”

Dana Ivgy

Daughter of actors and an acclaimed Israeli actress herself, Dana Ivgy (דאנה איבגי) has been also involved in directing and – now officially – music after the recent release of her debut album, “ID”.

The 33-years-old songwriter started working on this release way back in her twenties. As she openly admits – sometimes it was a struggle. But the result as in one of the most diverse, sophisticated and simply charming collection of songs we heared last year not only in Israel.

On “ID”, you’ll hear lyrics in English, Hebrew, and even some French verses. And the mostly acoustic/rock arrangements are pleasingly decorated with strings and brass.

♪♫ Listen: “On the Bus” + album stream

Dana Ivgy on Bandcamp, YouTube, Facebook.

Daniel Sapir <BR>“Daniel Sapir”

Daniel Sapir
“Daniel Sapir”

It might take you a few listens before you truly understand the great amount of talent Daniel Sapir (דניאל ספיר) has invested into his self-titled record.

His main instrument is the contrabass, and based on this experience he crafted an inconspicuous album that puts emphasis on the smallest details. Co-produced Hila Roach (whose own record you’ll find below), it’s also an accurate representation of the current Israeli folk/soft rock music.

A demonstration of great songwriting and performing skills, hopefully “Daniel Sapir” is just a start of a journey we’d love to be part of.

♪♫ Listen: “Possibility of Beautyalbum stream

Daniel Sapir on Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube.

Daniela Spector <BR>“Kol HaDvarim HaYafim BeEmet”

Daniela Spector
“Kol HaDvarim HaYafim BeEmet”

Daniela Spector’s second solo release (she’s also recorded an album with her husband, the producer Ben Spector) will be a delight for anyone who appreciates semi-acoustic songwriting that Sufjan Steven has been a master of.

With its warm arrangements and immediate melodies “Kol HaDvarim HaYafim BeEmet” seems to be too beautiful to be true. But here it is, making you fall in love with the first listen and remaining an adventure even after a dozen of spins.

This charming album came out at the very end of 2014, but it needed some time to get the proper attention it deserves. And anyway, as soon as Daniela starts singing time no longer matters. So we might as well end up putting it into our Best of 2016.

♪♫ Listen: “Livyatan” + album stream

Daniela Spector on Facebook, YouTube, Bandcamp.

Erez <BR>“Proper Lady”

“Proper Lady”

Produced by Ori Winokur, Erez Sivan’s ‘s debut album sounds like nothing elase in the recent years. Strong but delicate arrangements leave this young singer enough space to let her show her incredible talent, but especially the freedom to take her voice wherevere she feels like at the moment.

As the title of her debut album aptly suggest that, “Proper Lady” is about transition from a girl to a woman. And about leaving behind childhood dreams and memories to take responsibilities of today and tomorrow.

She does look back every now and then, like in “Mama’s Boy” written by her mother, Miryam Sivan. But despite these moments, and despite her young age, Erez is already an independent, self-confident, simply a proper artist.

♪♫ Listen: “Just Another Color” + album stream

Erez on Facebook, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, www.

Garden City Movement <BR>“Modern West” EP

Garden City Movement
“Modern West” EP

2015 was a big year for dream pop in Israel. People found out that floating aimlessly in a pink pool of marshmallow can be very soothing to the sickly tired soul. Garden City Movement are a prime example of pure-straight forward Israeli day dreaming.

A perfect combo of top notch technics and pure love to melody with a dash of true coolness created a very loved five-track EP that sounds perfect on vinyl – and combines disco, synths and glitch hop.

But the best thing you can do is stop analysing, just press play and let yourself start dreaming.

♪♫ Listen: “My Only Love” + album stream

Garden City Movement on Facebook, Twitter.

Gilad Kahana <Br>“My Africa”

Gilad Kahana
“My Africa”

Although born in Mexico, talented writer and composer Gilad Cahana (גלעד כהנא‎) has been consistently developing his narrative about his real motherland, Israel, where he’s been living from the age of 9.

On his fifth solo album “My Africa” (אפריקה שלי) he uses the continent only as a metaphor for his social and political commentary. Like in the splendid video for the title song, where he asks if “a certain culture can be perceived as better than the other one?”

Switching between English and Hebrew (also as the singer of Giraffes), the 45-year-old has become one of the most instriguing characters in the current Israeli music scene.

♪♫ Listen: “My Africa

Gilad Kahana on Facebook, YouTube, www.

Hila Ruach <BR>“Rofaa Ba Maarav”

Hila Ruach
“Rofaa Ba Maarav”

If you want to be a doctor you need to know exactly just how much it hurts. And when you hear Hila Ruach’s (הילה רוח) raw rock n’ roll, it’s a little bit easier to digest your own pain.

Hila is a a standout rock music artist who produced, wrote and sang some of the best songs we’ve heard in while. She did it with the finesse of a never knocked-down before heavy-weight boxer: calm, cold and bold.

And although it sounds even better live, her new album “Rofaa Ba Maarav” (רופאה במערב), or “A Doctor in the West”, is a very accurate tale of a modern Tel Aviv woman.

♪♫ Listen: “Duba Grizzlit” + album stream

Hila Ruach on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook.

LO <BR>“Lo”


Acoustic trio from Tel Aviv, LO (לא) don’t offer straightforward songs you might expect of a group like this. Their sweet-sounding melodies keep changing all the time, and their compositions can become quite complicated.

Their self-titled album (“Lo” means “No”) was recorded with just an acoustic guitar, double bass and soaring sections of multiplied vocals. It’s made up of just ten short songs, but each of is a little journey. Enjoyable and memorable.

Whether you appreciate such kind of beauty, or maybe find it a bit too intense, it’s quite clear no-one has ever played and sung like that before and not only in Israel.

♪♫ Listen: “Lismoach ze hashoov” + album stream

LO on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook.

Nechi Nech <BR>“Welcome to Petah-Tikva”

Nechi Nech
“Welcome to Petah-Tikva”

Up-and-coming rapper from Petah Tikva (near Tel Aviv), Nechi Nech has already made his name with his two introverted, self-exploratory albums. But his spectacular third effort is where he truly shows the full spectrum of his talent.

Genre-binding, unpredictable, and catchy, this new effort has been recorded with a diverse group of producers who made it a multi-faceted piece of art. But Nechi himself seems to be evolving over the twelve short tracks, as he talks about anything from his childhood to the government politics.

Even if you don’t understand a word, you’ll easily enjoy the beats and Nechi’s ever-changing flow. So “Welcome to Petah-Tikva”.

♪♫ Listen: “Fame” + album stream

Nechi Nech on Facebook, Bandcamp.

Noa Shemer <BR>“Osei Ha’Sikumim”

Noa Shemer
“Osei Ha’Sikumim”

“The decision to compose different texts of different poets, rather than my own, is due to two reasons. First – a great love to Hebrew poetry. And the other – my preference of creating music rather than writing lyrics,” Noa Shemer told us a while ago.

On her surprise debut album “Osei Ha’Sikumim” (Makers of Summaries) she interprets eleven poems with her incredible musical imagination and strong, yet soft (if even slightly melancholic) voice.

As much as we love this album, we’re happy to see Noa doesn’t stop where she arrived with this record and continues to look for new ideas. “My next album”, she said “will probably have more beats and electronica.” We truly can’t wait.

♪♫ Listen: “Noa” + album stream

Noa Shemer on Bandcamp, YouTube, Facebook.

Phototaxis <BR>“Marinade”


Many have tried to define music of this Tel Avivian collective, but all of them equally failed. With this talented group you never know if they’re gonna bring back the golden days of trip-hop, take you to the disco, or semi-improvise a soundtrack for the next documentary about majestic birds.

One thing that connects all styles Phototaxis employ is obviously the voice of Yael Feldinger. She retains her warmth regardless of if she’s accompanied by elegant strings or clarinets (check out the beautiful title single), or if she’s surrounded by electronic beats.

While we’re still enjoying their three and a half albums to date, there’s already good news they’re working on their fourth effort set to be released this year.

♪♫ Listen: “Marinade” + album stream

Phototaxis on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook, www.

Riff Cohen <BR>“A La Menthe”

Riff Cohen
“A La Menthe”

With her Algerian-Tunisian-French roots, the unpredictable Israeli singer-songwriter Riff Cohen brings back all of her musical heritage into our post modern world.

Just like her deservedly viral singles “Helas” (“Too Bad”) and “Marrakech“, on her new album Riff sings about human desires, things that make us alive but can also take life out of us.

Even though Riff is a young songwriter and performer, her second album brings thoroughly captivating songs. And we can only hope she further explores her very own mix of inspirations, one that puts her among the most unique artists of her generation.

♪♫ Listen: “Helas

Riff Cohen on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, www.

Sarit Hadad <BR>“Sarit Hadad”

Sarit Hadad
“Sarit Hadad”

It’s does not often happen that artists presented on beehype also appear as judges on TV programmes like “The Voice”. But Sarit Hadad (שרית חדד) is not only a reality-tv show start. She’s also a talented musician who plays the piano, guitar, accordion, and even the darbuka.

Hadad has recorded more than 20 albums in her career and made each one count. Her latest, self-titled effort is a record that stands out from 2015 and it’s a fun mix of contemporary Israeli Mizrahi music and pop.

And yes, there’s a lot of humour in it too.

♪♫ Listen: “Hikiti Lo” + album stream (Spotify)

Sarit Hadad on Facebook, www.

Shay Tzabari <BR>“Shacarit”

Shay Tzabari

Some take inspiration from Sunday choirs – others reminisce of an old cantor in a synagogue. The bashful Shay Tzabari grew up in the halls of Jewish blues and has the pipes and vocals of sturdy male tenor.

Being a talented late bloomer and playing part in others music projects made Tzabari’s first album a collection of songs that create an impact on you from the first moment.

With “Shacarit” (שחרית), which is a name of Jewish morning pray, Tzabari almost unwillingly achieved a huge success, taking over as headliner for many summer festivals here in Israel. This is a great album to listen to by a passionate vocalist.

♪♫ Listen: “הניחי-לי” + album stream

Shay Tzabari on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook, YouTube.

Soda Fabric <BR>“Atlantis”

Soda Fabric

Berlin-based quartet Soda Fabric took seven long years to release their debut album, but as it often happens with such slow-produced efforts – is was totally worth the wait.

“Atlantis” is among the best 80s-rooted records we heard last year, with perfectly balanced inspirations from shoegaze, post-punk, indie pop and all those contemporary micro rock genres. While the track “Teenage Illusion” has been aptly hailed one of the best Israeli songs in years, the whole LP will grip you with its dense atmosphere.

The album does sound like its name – borrowed from the long lost underwater kingdom – would suggest. But we’re happy to see Soda Fabric have finally surfaced, and let’s hope they remain afloat for a while.

♪♫ Listen: “Teenage Illusion” + album stream

Soda Fabric on Facebook, Twitter.

Stella Got <BR>“Wounded Ladies” EP

Stella Got
“Wounded Ladies” EP

Whether she initially reminds you of PJ Harvey, Julia Holter or maybe even Björk, you’ll quickly discover two things about the solo debut of this young singer-songwriter from Tel Aviv.

First, even though Stella Got’s only starting her career, she’s already as original writer and performer as the aforementioned heroines. And second, with pieces like mesmerizing “Arms Strings” some of her songs would stand out on any album released recently.

“Wounded Ladies” containts only 7-track lasting about 25 minutes, but with this kind of emotional and musicial intensity you probably wouldn’t be able to digest more in one take. And helps you enjoy every second of this mini-album just like it deserves.

♪♫ Listen: “Arms Strings” + album stream

Stella Got on Bandcamp, Facebook, YouTube.

Tiny Fingers <BR>“The Fall”

Tiny Fingers
“The Fall”

If this list was about labels and not songs, Tel Aviv-based Anova Music would be a clear winner with a quite a few artists included in this round-up.

With their new album, the psychedelic quartet Tiny Fingers seem to have found the very sound they’ve been looking for on their previous releases. “The Fall” takes us on a 38-minute journey with emotional ups and downs, and with distressing noises transforming into delightful melodies.

You might feel a bit weighed down with so many instrumental passages, at least until you give this album a few listens. But the beautiful closing track “Music for the Sun” will indeed leave you in the light.

♪♫ Listen: “The Fall” + album stream

Tiny Finges on Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube.

Tuna <BR>“Gam Ze Ya’avor”

“Gam Ze Ya’avor”

Tuna (טונה) is a key figure in the Israeli music scene, well known and very respected. He’s been involved in multiple music projects for more than a decade now, but no one expected 2015 to be the year of Tuna in Israel.

A very personal story “Gam Ze Ya’avor” (“This Too Shall Pass”) captured the hearts of many. Throughout fantastic video for the title single, Tuna argues that heartbreak will pass with time just like Netscape, Crocs, Walkman, “Macarena”, Tamagotchi, Samantha Fox and techno.

It’s hard to resist this diverse, dynamic album that should appeal to listeners far beyond local hip-hop scene.

Gam Ze Ya’avor” + album stream

Tuna on YouTube, Facebook.

Vaadat Charigim <BR>“Sinking as a Stone”

Vaadat Charigim
“Sinking as a Stone”

The second effort rom Tel Aviv-based trio Vaadat Charigim (ועדת חריגים) is a celebration of what’s best in the legacy of shoegaze and dream pop, with potent sound and great themes hidden under the surface of slowed-down and blurred guitars.

Last year was quite remarkable for the group. Their new album, “Sinking as a Stone”, received lots of acclaim from anyone who appreciates Sonic Youth, Slowdive or Ride.

They also organized a short but successful tour in the US. And as a result, on March 15th they’ll make some noise at the South by Southwest festival. We can be quite sure more dates will follow.

♪♫ Listen: “Ein Li Makom” + album stream

Vaadat Charigim on Soundcloud, Facebook.