Vaadat Charigim, "The World Is Well Lost"
This trio from Tel Aviv has created driving and airy songs suffused with somewhat doom-laden yet inspiring vocals, hollow rhythms, and gauzey guitar, for an album which could easily masquerade as a release from 1980s Manchester or Glasgow.
Juvall Harring wrote the songs for The World Is Well Lost while in something of an exile. His wife was home in Israel, his grandfather had just passed away, and his friends were protesting in the streets of Tel Aviv. Meanwhile he was alone in Berlin, basically in a somewhat depressed state singing in a room alone and making demos. That state makes for rather ecstatic listening since, through a necessarily slow process of recording to two-track and gradual layering, the finished form of this music has such a strong sense of well-crafted economy and precision.
Harring sings in Hebrew but the effect, either of that language or of his brooding voice, is somehow just right to create this driving, moody, melodic, hollow-toned atmosphere. This is the kind of sound which relies less on lyrics and much more on the voice as an additional instrument of color and shade. Oddly, though, at times some of the words do almost translate into surprisingly apt lines or phrases. At one point Harring appears to sing "showing me the echo" as well as "memory, gets in front of her." Later I could swear I hear "rain, falls, waiting" and "lonely shore" or "love me, sure." There are other such moments which add to an album that he has described as concerned with "End of the world, but at the same time, togetherness. Also retroism as escapism, and escapism as a positive thing, rather than a cop out."
Vaadat Charigim‚Äôs influences are pretty open to see, and there is no need for me to name names. On a couple of tracks, though, they sound as if they are falling, if not exactly through space sending a chiming coded message to Earth, then at least down a very big well. The World Is Well Lost may feasibly be too droney and shoegazey for some people and too light for others - it was released at the tail end of 2013 and the group are playing in the US in March 2014.