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The recording companies are gearing up for Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year, which is in September), and releasing new Israeli albums a few weeks before the holiday as potential gifts. Although the security situation has put a damper on going to shopping malls, where most music stores are located, the marketing departments of the CD companies are hoping that this will not affect sales.

On August 17 Hed Arzi will be releasing the first album by one of its new artists, Shai Amar, whose song "B'osher ub'oni" (In Riches and in Poverty) is already being broadcast by radio stations several times a day. Amar grew up in south Tel Aviv and his personal manager is Yaniv Davidson, the manager of Anana productions and also Kobi Oz's manager. Amar wrote all the music and lyrics for the album, except for two pieces by Meir Goldberg. Shmulik Neufeld was the musical producer for the album.

Another first album to be released by Hed Arzi is that of singer Ronit Roland, who will recite "Ad Sof Hazman" (Until the End of Time). Most of the words in the album were written by Roland, and the musical production was handled by Jean Paul Zimbris. This album will be released on August 13.

At the beginning of September Hed Arzi will be releasing a compendium of songs written by Danny Sanderson and sung by Yehudit Ravitz, Ariel Zilber, Shlomo Arzi, Maor Cohen and others. Shlomo Arzi will also be coming out with a new album, though the title and release date have not yet been set. The first single from the album will be released at the beginning of September.

Tal Segev will release his first album "E-Sheket" (Disquietude) on August 14. All the lyrics and music were written by him. Produced by Nana, the album will be distributed by Hed Arzi.

Hed Arzi also has high hopes for some second albums by several artists including "Yoshvim B'veit Cafe" (Sitting in a Cafe) by the Teapacks, "Yachasim Ptuhim" (Open Relationships) by Monica Sex and "Anashim Mesaprim" (People Tell) by the Smahot. There will also be an album of a collection of songs by Hahaverim shel Natasha, with songs by the group over the years.

On August 24, Halycon will be releasing a new album by Yuval Banai, "Nishar Bamakom" (Staying in Place), which the company defines as a "rock album in every aspect." Banai will be giving a round of performances beginning today, appearing mostly at the Barbie club in Tel Aviv.

Halycon will also be releasing an album of Yehudit Ravitz's performance with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which included both new and old songs, from "Hayalda Hahi Yafa Bagan" (The Prettiest Girl in Kindergarten) to songs from her latest album "Ga'agua" (Longings).

Another new album from a performance is that of Rami Kleinstein and Rita, which will also be released by Halycon before Rosh Hashana. The album will be called "Rita, Rami, Hamofa Hameshutaf" (Rita, Rami the Joint Concert).

NMC will be releasing a collection of songs by Eran Zur, including three new songs, at the end of August. The album will be called "Parparei Ta'atua" (Butterflies of Illusion). One of the new songs on the album will be "Nimpha" (Nymph), composed by Barry Saharof and performed by him on his own album "Hakol oh Klum" (All or Nothing). The music and lyrics of the other two new songs were written by Zur.

In the middle of August Dana International will be coming out with a new album, "Yoter v'yoter" (More and More). Eleven of the 12 songs on the album were written by Eli Abramov and Danny Dotan and the lyrics for one song, "Aharei Hacol" (After Everything), were written by Yoav Ginai, with music by Yehuda Poliker.

Yehuda Poliker will also be releasing an album soon, though no date has been set. The music for all the songs was composed by Poliker, with lyrics by Ya'akov Gilad. Two of the songs have been released to the radio stations - "Aich Korim L'ahava Sheli" (What is My Love's Name) and "Gingi" (Redhead).

Another first album on the way is by Eyal Schechter and produced by Tal Yaniv, who played with Schechter in the Avtipus band.

The Ethnics will be releasing an album on August 10, "Baderech Shelha" (Your Way), to be distributed by Phonokol and Sultan, the Ethnics's independent production company. It is built around the story line of an Israeli from the time of his birth until he is thirtysomething and has a son of his own. The Ethnics will put on a show to coincide with the album's release.