Best Albums of 2016
selected by David Pearl

Adam Cohen <BR>“Keshet”

Adam Cohen

The amazing “homemade” music by Adam Cohen (אדם יעקב כהן) sounds exactly how homemade music should sound – cozy and warm with Adam’s angelic vocals flying above reminding of Thom Yorke’s vocals if he knew Hebrew.

♪♫ Listen: “אהובתי” + album stream

Adam Cohen on Facebook, YouTube, Bandcamp.

Assaf Amdursky <BR>“Po”

Assaf Amdursky

Assaf Amdursky (אסף אמדורסק) is by far one of the best Israeli musicians for the past 30 years and his latest release “Po” (פה) is no different from his other albums – a brilliant mixture of electronic music with 80’s vibe.

♪♫ Listen: “שדות צהובים” + album stream
Assaf Amdursky on Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube.

Balkan Beat Box <BR>“Shout It Out”

Balkan Beat Box
“Shout It Out”

Internationally acclaimed trio Balkan Beat Box did it again with their latest album “Shout It Out”. Over twelve songs, it successfully combines gypsy sounds with Middle Eastern tunes served with fat basses and hip hop vibes.

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

Balkan Beat Box on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Calo Wood <BR>“Diving Shadows”

Calo Wood
“Diving Shadows”

Calo Wood (producer Rejoicer & saxophonist Eyal Talmudi ) is an ongoing series of and each album is led by a different vocalist singing on their beats. On this beautiful album they hosted Ester Rada making it a funky and beautiful album.

♪♫ Listen: “Winter” + album stream

Calo Wood on Bandcamp, YouTube.

Cohen@Mushon <BR>“Yamim Arukim”

“Yamim Arukim”

One of the best hip hop acts in Israel, Cohen@Mushon are back with their much anticipated album “Yamim Arukim” (ימים ארוכים) full of funky beats, great samples and amazing flow.

♪♫ Listen: “Freak” + album stream
Cohen@Mushon on Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube.

Dikla <BR>“Sipur Optimi”

“Sipur Optimi”

Dikla’s (דיקלה) new album “Sipur Optimi” (סיפור אופטימי) is the her last step to become a part in the local hall of fame after being so called Indie in her first two albums with her combination of Arabic and Middle Eastern sounds, her dramatic ‘bigger than life’ voice and heartbreaking lyrics.

♪♫ Listen: “הוא כותב לי מאמי” + album stream
Dikla on Facebook, Bandcamp.

Echo <BR>“Calling on Wonders”

“Calling on Wonders”

“Calling on Wonders” is Echo’s first solo album outside her other musical projects (like Echo&Tito).

It’s a collection of tunes made in the past few years in cooperation with the Raw Tapes Label producers and it’s a mixture of hip hop beats and funky tunes and Echo’s amazing flow.

♪♫ Listen: “Come Sit With Us” + album stream
Echo on Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube.

J.Viewz <BR>“401 Days”

“401 Days”

“401 Days” is the result of J.Viewz’s “DNA Project”, in which he asked fans and musicians to take part in the making of his new album.

These 13 beautiful songs with different collaborators make “401 Days” the unique and amazing album it is adding to J.Viewz’s excellent catalog of music.

♪♫ Listen: “Don’t Pull Away” + album stream (iTunes)

J.Viewz on Facebook, www.

Kama Vardi <BR>“Satchel / Sof Ma’arav”

Kama Vardi
“Satchel / Sof Ma’arav”

New album by Kama Vardi (קמה ורדי) is a split between 5 songs in Hebrew under the name “Sof Ma’arav” and 5 songs in English under the name “Satchel”.

Imagine two beautiful EPs coming together. This album is the perfect soundtrack for this winter with Kama’s incredible voice and her folky tunes.

♪♫ Listen: English + Hebrew + album stream
Kama Vardi on Facebook.

Kutiman <BR>“6am”


After the success of Kutiman’s Thru You projects and 9 years after his debut album, Kutiman finally released his full second album “6am”. And as expected it’s full of funky tunes out of space with amazing string arrangements and good vibes.

♪♫ Listen: “Stranger On The Follow” + album stream

Kutiman on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, TwitterFacebook + beehype.

Marina Maximilian <BR>“Armonot Ashan”

Marina Maximilian 
“Armonot Ashan”

After her successful debut album in English, Marina’s new album “Armonot Ashan” (ארמונות עשן) was another success but entirely in Hebrew and there’s something magical happening when she sings in Hebrew.

Marina’s songs have become more personal and the production makes it perfect.

♪♫ Listen: “אפס סבלנות” + album stream

Marina Maximilian on Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube.

Maureen Nehedar <BR>“Gole Gandom”

Maureen Nehedar
“Gole Gandom”

Maureen’s second album with its’ old Persian hymns is an instant classic. Since Maureen came to Israel after her family ran from Iran it makes sense that she would like to reconnect with her roots and bring this old songs to new life and she does it magnificaly.

♪♫ Listen: “Gole Gandom” + album stream (iTunes)

Maureen Nehedar on Facebook, Bandcamp, www.

Nitai Hershkovits <BR>“I Asked You A Question”

Nitai Hershkovits 
“I Asked You A Question”

“I Asked You A Question” is one of those albums that you feel so lucky you’ve found it. It has these chilly vibes with great beats and jazzy atmosphere thanks to some great old keyboards and samples and the production of Rejoices alongside Nitai Hershkovits.

♪♫ Listen: “Satellite Dish” + album stream
Nitai Hershkovits on Facebook, Soundcloud, Instagram, www.

Reo <BR>“Mechonat HaZman Shel HaLev”

“Mechonat HaZman Shel HaLev”

Or Edry and Zoe Polanski, the duo behind Reo (ריו), successfully reinvented pop music in Hebrew and that’s not an easy task. Its cool, 80’s vibe yet sexy and airy songs make “Mechonat HaZman Shel HaLev” (מכונת הזמן של הלב) one of the best albums around.

♪♫ Listen: “Ometz” + album stream
Reo on Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube.

Shirly Kones <BR>“Shirly Kones”

Shirly Kones
“Shirly Kones”

Singer-songwriter Shirly Kones (שירלי קונס) has a very distinctive voice and it’s in the front of this beautiful album – third in her discography – filled with folky tunes and heartbreaking songs.

♪♫ Listen: “Shemesh” + album stream

Shirly Kones on Bandcamp, Facebook, YouTube + beehype.

Sivan Talmor <BR>“Fire”

Sivan Talmor

This is Sivan’s growing up album introducing her and her new full bodied music with seven incredible, heart touching songs that at first sight sound simple but then they grow on you until all you can hear and feel is these songs on loop. (*Full disclosure – I designed the album cover.)

♪♫ Listen: “I’ll Be” + album stream

Sivan Talmor on YouTube, Facebook, Twitterwww + beehype.

The White Screen <BR>“The White Screen”

The White Screen
“The White Screen”

The White Screen’s (המסך הלבן) music, for the lack of other words, is seductive rock music.

40 minutes of great guitars and the lead singer Gabriel Broid’s charismatic vocals makes their self-titled album a great rock recor that successfully connect between “old school” rock with totally fresh vibes and specific sound for them.

♪♫ Listen: “רק בקבר” + album stream
The White Screen on Facebook, YouTube.

Totemo <BR>“Desire Path”

“Desire Path”

“Desire Path”, Rotem Or AKA Totemo’s follow up to 2014 “Heavy As My Dreams” EP, picks up where she left back then but this time the music is extending the electronically production with some live band treatment and it’s so beautiful you can’t avoid from pressing the repeat button.

♪♫ Listen: “Hits” + album stream
Totemo on Facebook, Bandcamp + beehype.

Yael Badash <BR>“Koferi”

Yael Badash

Yael Badash (יעל בדש) is a fresh voice in the Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) tradition and her vocal style is deeply rooted in her own multi-cultural heritage, with influences from Western, Turkish and North African music.

On this new album called “Koferi” Yael joined Yugoslav powerhouse Goran Bregovic releasing an colorful album which was made of Bregovic songs in Hebrew.

♪♫ Listen: live performance + album stream
Yael Badash on Facebook, Instagram, www.

Yotam Avni <BR>“Bachurot Begileynu”

Yotam Avni
“Bachurot Begileynu”

Alongside his career as a Electronic music produces Yotam Avni ( יותם אבני) also known as Yeezi Avni decided to release a hip hop album “Bachurot Begileynu” (בחורות בגילנו) full of local namedropping and a perfect portray of the local night scene in Tel Aviv.

In a way this project started as an inside joke evolving to one of the best hip hop albums of the year.

♪♫ Listen: “בחורות בגילנו” + album stream
Yotam Avni on Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube.