Young Israelites – Stay by My Side
I ain’t no reggae fan and don’t dare anybody to accuse me of it. But, I just felt compelled to play that silly old Pass the Dutchie tune by Musical Youth a few hours ago. Just when I thought I’d broken free, I felt like hearing Ghost Town by the Specials. Toots and the Maytals had to follow next. This led me down a whole wormhole of 70s British punk music that was, most often, indistinguishable from the reggae sounds. Those roots go deep and are as hard to ignore from the history of popular music in the same way that the blues is.
Young Israelites, a reggae band with power-pop influences, are, actually, from Israel and it’s easy to assume that their sounds are the easiest thing on the ear that human-played instruments might be able to produce.
You will get away with sliding Stay by my Side in just about any Jamaican-influenced playlist without any of your friends batting an eye. This is retro-music of a variety that most audience members may not be entirely ready with and a tune whose gentle harmonies, well-meaning attitude and tight grooves are simply undeniable. Music transcending barriers? Close your eyes and open your ears, and the answer might well be “yes”.
Alexander Boe – Trippin’ on a 4-Track Blues
I’m not sure how they’re schooling kids in Israel, but judging by the type of music we’ve been exposed to in recent months, there seems to be an immense amount of good taste there. Sure, I’m certain that there’s bound to be some kind of trashy pop music making the rounds as well. But, for the most part, guitar and electronic-based music have an elegant, effortless feel to it.
The same stylish approach can be found on Alexander Boe’s single “Trippin’ on a 4-Track Blues“. The whole song is, really, just a groove, a laid back, well-orchestrated one.
This ode to the lo-fi recording is also accompanied by Mr Boe’s convincing, albeit buried in the mix, vocals that remind us of Paolo Nutini’s recent output. It’s the kind of song whose wah-wah guitar could just go on forever without listeners feeling much need to complain about it.