Another masterpiece this early in the year. And something completely new for me – an Israeli musician with such an American feel, it’s hard to make the distinction that he’s not a native of either the South or Detroit. Asaf Avidan, former soldier, animator and leader of his own successful (in Israel) band, The Mojos, unleashes his newest album, Gold Shadow and it is filled with nothing but unadulterated goodness. My instinct, upon hearing the opening track, “Over My Head”, was to think “ah, American rural influence – more neo-Americana” but then I remembered… And then the grooves also kicked in. And that’s a good thing.
Beginning with the aforementioned, you’re in for an emotional spin of a listen – this is one of those albums that quickly goes into you and gets in your head. “Ode To My Thalamus” (!) is a calypso-like catchy number (with inflections of those French melodies you’d hear in the ’60’s); “The Jail That Sets You Free” has a gospel feel at the beginning, with its handclaps and moves into a great, danceable ’80’s style track (think Spandau, circa Journeys To Glory). “Gold Shadow” is a piano dirge – a torch song – which is stark, lyrically vivid and haunting; “Let’s Just Call It Fate” is a country/Americana sounding beauty (an absolute highlight) and “Fair Haired Traveller” is the gentle, acoustic finger-picked closer.
As this album is soon to be released, so too is Asaf Avidam touring (albeit briefly) the United States. One listen to this album was enough for me to want to see this performer – and before I do, I will continue to absorb Gold Shadow as much as possible. It won’t be difficult at all.
Gold Shadow will be released Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015