I bought this on spec at work. I dunno, something about the cover drew me to it, even though I didn’t know anything about this artist or the music. Let’s dig in!
First, some details (hi, Wiki!):
Yoav (born Yoav Sadan on October 15, 1979 in Tel Aviv, Israel) is a singer-songwriter of Israeli-Romanian descent, raised in South Africa.
His debut album Charmed and Strange was released in early 2008. Yoav’s music features his own vocals and accompaniment by an acoustic guitar, which he uses to create electronica-style beats with his hands. He has also released two singles, “Club Thing” and “Beautiful Lie”, the former having some success and charting in countries around Europe. His song “Adore Adore” was also featured in “Redwood”, an episode of The Mentalist. He also had a version of his cover song of “Where Is My Mind?” featured in the 2011 film Sucker Punch, which starred actress and singer Emily Browning. The song was subsequently included on the soundtrack.
His father, a Jewish architect who lived through World War II in his native Romania, before moving to Israel (where Yoav was born) and then relocating to South Africa with Yoav’s opera singer mother.
Well then, what about the music? It’s really something! As it’s noted above, he sings and plays guitar. There are definitely some interesting noises throughout, but not in any obnoxious way, and I couldn’t tell if they were even electronic. I’d have to see him playing to know what was what, but there’s definitely looping pedals involved.
The songs are hypnotic, with a world music flavour (does that even make sense? It just feels global). It’s singer-songwriter-y, but not in that obnoxious coffeehouse way. Each song feels huge, expansive, even though most of them also feel up close and personal. It defies labels, judiciously using elements as they best serve each song’s heart.
Going into this, I had no expectations, just curiosity. Coming out the other side of having heard it, I am drawn back to track one because it all needs more attention (though I’m becoming a quick fan of this album). Clearly, I am struggling a bit trying to describe this. I think it’s just something you have to hear for yourself, more than once if you can. I recommend it!
Sometimes I buy discs just to try them out, and often they are OK but nothing special, or will receive few replays. This one, though… this one definitely has that extra-ordinary, strong something that will demand further listens. Score!
The Tracks: Greed / Moonbike / Safety In Numbers / Yellowbrite Smile / Spidersong / Little Black Box / Easy Chair / Anonymous / 6/8 Dream / We Are All Dancing