Vaadat Charigim is a shoegaze/post-punk trio from Tel Aviv. I don’t know very much at all about them except that they are influenced by underground Israeli bands from the 1980s and 1990s and that their debut album was released last summer. Their songs are in Hebrew, which makes it difficult for most Gentiles to understand them. Despite this, they’re starting to get some attention in the indie world.
The band name translates to something like “Exemptions Committee”, and the title of tonight’s song translates to something like “It’s Okay to be Afraid”.
Vaadat Charigim is one of the bands who will be playing at the upcoming fifth annual Hopscotch Music Festival this September in Raleigh. This year, as always, I’ve never even heard of 70% of the lineup. Usually, the lineup consists of about 175 bands, and I think it’s a little less than that this year. Either way, when the lineups are announced, I draw blanks on most of the bands. The fun part for me is doing a bit of research by reading up/listening up about every band. The good folks at Hopscotch take a lot of the legwork out of it by posting mini-bios and song samples right there on the lineup page.
Like I said, I’ve had a lot of fun over the years finding new favorite bands among all the “never heard of ‘em”. That said, I’m pretty excited that I’ll be seeing these guys at the festival. Presumably on Thursday night, the first night of the festival.
The band certainly has a 1970s/1980s UK post-punk sound like the Cure or Joy Division. Some people compare them to The Smiths. I don’t get that. Some people compare them to Slowdive. Maybe not so much on tonight’s song. but I can kind of hear that.
Anyway, tonight’s song:
“Ze Beseder Lefahed” by Vaadat Charigim
I have no idea what he’s singing about. I like to think that the lyrics are really beautifully poetic or deeply meaningful, but I kind of prefer the mystery. Although I used to be able to understand French with at least some degree of proficiency, I’ve forgotten nearly everything that I learned so many years ago. So when I hear those lovely songs by Cœur de Pirate, I don’t even want to know what she’s singing about. Of course the French language is mellifluous while the Hebrew language is, well, … not. So there are lots of differences, but my point is that I don’t know what he’s singing, and I don’t really care either. I like the music. I like the way the whole thing fits together. It’s great, and it transcends language barriers.
For extra credit, here’s a video of the band playing the song in front of some kids who are celebrating something. Probably Purim, but maybe something else.
You can buy the album in digital or CD format here. Burger Records did a cassette release of the album in the US. I love encouraging people to buy physical copies of albums. Even more than that, though, I wish people would stop encouraging labels to release things on cassette. It’s a horrible format and it’s a stupid trend that I really want to go away. So please, don’t buy this or anything on cassette. Unless you like terrible sound quality that gets worse every time you play it.