In one misty eyed salute to the likes of Adrianne Lenker & Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Israel-born singer-songwriter Liad Shulrufer has composed a sleep inducing homage to wistful positivity.
Picture it. The amber glow from the sun trickling across the edge of your empty glass, the wind gently kissing the back of your neck as the gentle flow of the sea laps against the powdered sand; satisfaction has been personified.
This feeling cannot be bought or sold, yet it can and does exist within a mere 3 and a half minutes. At the heart of it is one singular question; how much can be stripped down from a song whilst still breaking a heart in two? Liush proves that the answer to this is, as it happens, a lot. This restrained minimalist ballad is by far the most tender waltz i’ve ever wanted to slow dance to, the subtle picks from Shulrufer’s nylon ticking with the delicacy of a priceless timepiece, conducting the ensuing spectacle in a refined display of elegance.
If you’re anything like me you will have been feeling the lockdown blues, and as a result will have dived back into the solemn works of artists like Sufjan Stevens and Elliot Smith; I can wholeheartedly say that Yom Tov stands shoulder to shoulder with the best of their respective discographies. Luish continues the tradition of minimalist recording practices, using the dependable performance of a Shure sm57 to recite and engineer this hypnotic embodiment of illusory dream folk.
Recorded in the remote confines of his Berlin attic alongside mix engineer and close friend Rotem Fisher, its nocturnal birth underlines the unbridled sense of magical simplicity that resides within every note. In Hebrew the phrase ‘Yom Tov’ means ‘good day’ during festival season, a sentiment that Liush finds himself seeking more and more. Yet this isn’t a melancholic lullaby, not by any means. Instead it celebrates the idea that we must accept the natural order of life, appreciating the balance of opposite forces; for once we manage that, contentment will finally be attained.