The 20 Best Israeli Albums of 5773

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After spending more than a month collecting albums that were recommended by broadcasters or written up in the press — or that members of the public had voted for — on Sunday, Kol Hacampus, the radio station of Rishon Letzion-based College of Management Academic Studies, broadcast its hit parade of Israeli alternative music albums for the Hebrew year just ending.

The albums featured in the broadcast promise to be around with us for many years to come. Here are the ones that made the top 20, in ascending order:

No. 20: Va'ad Harigim (The Exceptions Committee) — "Haolam Avad Mizman" ("The world is well lost")

This is the debut album of Yuval Haring's indie trio, with Dan Fabian-Bloch and Yuval Gutman, and a perfect shoegazing-style soundtrack for the End of Days.

No. 19. Rockfour — "Too Many Organs"

This longstanding band's ninth studio album features their familiar sound but with new influences and ideas.

18. The Ramirez Brothers — "Who? You!"

This is the phenomenal power trio's second studio album, and it’s a lively musical grab-bag of goodies from 1950s rockabilly style through groove and funk and Americana.

17. Lili Franko — "Olam Mufla Ve'afel" ("A Wonderous, Dark World")

There is post-punk in Hebrew, and it's noisy, pointed, provocative and also a little sexist, but this rock trio's album provides a rock ‘n' roll experience that is full of humor.

16. Electra — "Second Hand Love"

Two years after their fine debut album, Nitzan Horesh and his colleagues have now produced an adrenaline bombshell of indie-rock music that is polished and energetic.

15. Talya Eliav –"6:28"

The third and most experimental album from this creative singer combines sweet melodies with dark and poetic lyrics.

14. Vitarti — "Gvina Hatzi-Raka" ("Semi-Soft Cheese")

This mini-album of short, but tight and intense punk songs walks the line between chaos and nonsense, between absurd and superficial — but with self-awareness.

13. Ahuva Ozeri — "Me'alai Dmama" ("Above Me Silence")

Top-class people lend their voices and talents to the song of one of the most important artists of our generation on this heartwarming album.

12. Riff Cohen — "A Paris"

This debut album is a refreshing mix of Western pop, Arab embellishment and French chic.

11. Haya Miller — "Hayei Madaf" ("Shelf Life")

A demonstration of purpose on the part of a young, hungry band on this, their first disc, featuring clever lyrics, sensitive melodies and a captivating and charismatic young lead singer.

10. Buttering Trio — "Toast"

Rejoicer, Keren Dunn and Beno Hendler join forces to create a futuristic sound with a deceptive beat, that comes together to create an extraordinary musical trip.

9. Tiny Fingers — MEGAFAUNA

This electrifying recording from a post-rock band demonstrates additional musical power that transcends genres and breaks with convention.

8. Shalom Gad — "Talmei Eliyahu"

After "Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv" and "Jerusalem," this longtime indie musician returns to his childhood home in the third and final installment of a trilogy entitled "Hamatzav" ("The Situation").

7. Chava Alberstein — "Ve'eich Etzlecha" ("And How Is It with You")

This fixture of the Israeli music scene for decades has teamed up surprisingly with Tamir Muscat of the Israeli-American musical group Balkan Beat Box, producing one of her best albums in years.

6. Kalbey Ruah — "Kalbey Ruah" ("Ruah's Dogs")

Hila Ruah and her team whip up a fresh breeze on the Israeli music scene with a hypnotizing debut disc produced by Yehu Yaron.

5. Ester Rada — "Life Happens"

A disc produced with refinement and precision by Kutiman, a.k.a. Ophir Kutiel and Sabbo, a.k.a. Ronen Sabo, and limitless talent. Ester Rada's soul music justifies the hype that has been accorded her on this, her first mini-album.

4. Asaf Avidan — "Different Pulses"

After ending his role in the group Asaf Avidan & the Mojos, this indie artist has reinvented himself with an enchanting album (with not a word about that female singer whom everyone says imitates Avidan).

3. Yehu Yaron — "Aman Hashihnua Ha'atzmi" ("The Artist of Self-Persuasion")

Poetic virtuosity, music from the Caribbean and an uncompromising presentation in an avant-garde second solo album from this gifted artist and producer.

2. Habiluim — "Hora Haslama!"

This eccentric rock group returns after a hiatus of five years with a grotesque cabaret-style album of despair and powerlessness, but a lot of charm and humor.

1. Aviv Gadge — "Yeladim Shel Mehagrim" ("Migrants' Children") 

With finely-honed writing and sorrowful songs, and a sound that combines modern rock and traditional roots in Talmei Eliyahu, Gadge seeks his way at his own home and contends with a feeling of foreignness as an emigrant in a strange land that consumes its residents. He presents the troubles around us and portents of what is to come.

Ben Eliad is a broadcast producer at Kol Hacampus, the campus radio station of the College of Management Academic Studies.

Israeli singer Riff CohenCredit: Hila Wegman

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