Shalom Life | August 08, 2015

Indie Music Scene Thriving in Israel

Sun Kil Moon, alt-J, Toro Y Moi, the Antlers, Ben Frost and way more scheduled to play Tel Aviv, Rishon, and other cities throughout the Holy Land

By: Daniel Koren

Published: July 15th, 2015 in Culture » Music » News

Indie Music Scene Thriving in Israel

Photo: alt-J


Tel Aviv's Florentine neighborhood, home to a variety of bars, restaurants, and other cultural establishments, is known for its hipster-friendly ambiance - in fact, it was actually named the 2nd most hipster 'hood in the world, following Brooklyn's Williamsburg, of course.

And, naturally, hipster areas also imply awesome music the likes of Radiohead, Pavement, or Animal Collective - it's actually the one thing about them that is truly refreshing.

But Florentine isn't the only area that's pretty hip to the scene. You might not know it, but Tel Aviv in general has actually become a hub for indie bands and solo musicians. While the city is famous for its electronic music scene (Armin Van Buuren played TLV on July 3rd, for one, and you can find amazing trance all day, every day), and has hosted a variety of mainstream artists (find a list of some of the most influential artists who've played Israel here), fans of more independent and progressive genres can also get their fix in Israel.

If you are a mainstream music fan, Damian Marley, Dionne Warwick, One Republic and Robbie Williams recently performed in the Holy Land, and Chris Brown, Axwell, Pharrell (probably) and Bon Jovi, to name a few, are scheduled to perform.

If you, like me, are more into the indie scene, here's a few pretty groovy artists that have very recently played Israel, and even a few more scheduled to perform this summer.

Andy Stott

Ominous, dark, eerie, beautiful.

Played Breakfast Club on July 3rd.

Leo Bud Welch

While the revered Blues musician is not technically indie, you can best believe that we indie kids still make it to his concerts.

Played as part of Tel Aviv Blues Festival on July 6th.

Popcaan

Again, while you wouldn't normally associate this reggae musician with indie, he's still not technically mainstream - though he's certainly on his way there.

Played Barby on July 9th.

Eagles of Death Metal

Some of the best rock n roll you can find these days. Though anti-Israel troll Roger Waters asked frontman Jesse Hughes to reconsider, he had only two words for the former Pink Floyd frontman. Can you guess what they are?

Played Barby on July 12th.

Cocorosie

Weird cannot even describe the music these two sisters create, but the result is often surprisingly cohesive, and sublime.

Played Gesher Theater on July 13th

The Antlers

The Brooklyn-based rock band make music that is oft morose, and depressing - but absolutely beautiful nonetheless.

Play Barby on August 4th. Get tickets here.

Toro Y Moi

The prolific, gifted musician also known as Chaz Bundick merges a variety of genres into his music. Should be a hell of a concert.

Plays Barby on July 20th. Get tickets here.

Mark Kozelek a.k.a. Sun Kil Moon

When Kozelek isn't trolling the War on Drugs, he's actually quite the traveler, and has played Tel Aviv three times in the last four years. In a statement confirming his upcoming show, he agrees that Israeli citizens should be able to watch him perform live, just like anyone else.

Plays Barby on September 9th.

Suede

Though Suede have been around for decades now, they never achieved mainstream success, and became a band that resonated much more with the indie movement.

Play Mivtachim Menorah Arena on July 30th

alt-J

Israeli fan favorites alt-J, a British alternative pop band that's likely one of the most popular contemporary outfits on this list, have shared their appreciation with their fans in the Holy Land for their continual patronage. With their unique sound, and endless array of singles, it's pretty easy to see, or hear, why.

Play Ra'anana Amphi Park on August 23rd.

Ben Frost

Ben Frost may be the most candid representation of progressive music: ambient, minimalist, experimental, instrumental, moving, riveting, utterly individualistic and indie.

Plays Levontin 7 on August 12th.

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