On the road

Israeli music – What to listen to while traveling in Israel

You want to know what Israel offers music-wise? Check out those 4 bands/singers and I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Just don’t blame me if you are overwhelmed by the sudden urge to get on a plane to Israel.

I am not a music expert, but when I listen to a song, I pay attention to every word. The radio was always on, when me and my boyfriend were traveling in Israel. So, I made an interesting observation about Israeli music. In order to be successful enough to be played on the radio, a song must contain one specific word. What’s your guess?

Let me tell you. It’s layla, which means night in Hebrew. One could say, it’s a pretty word. But until now I don’t understand the Israeli obsession with it.

I have a small challenge for you, before you start listening to the songs. Can you find the word layla in each of the songs that are in Hebrew? Clue: You might stumble over it several times.

1. Balkan Beat Box

Yes, the word Balkan is a part of their name even though they are from Israel. Names are deceiving. I chose Balkan Beat Box as the first band to transition slowly from more Eastern European inspired music to Israeli classics and newcomers. Listen to this song and you’ll have a good trip, trust me.


2. Arik Einstein

Israeli music - Arik Einstein

Arik Einstein

Drop the name Arik Einstein and everyone will know, who you are talking about. At least in Israel. The deep, soothing voice of this singer has become a symbol of the beauty of Israel in the 70s. Like a father singing to a child, his music feels reassuring and comforting. Actually, Arik was a very reclusive person, he didn’t like performing on stage. Usually he would drink before shows and after he was in a car accident in the 80s, he stopped performing in public. When he died in 2013, many people came to his house to pay him tribute.

Listen to my favorite song by Arik Einstein here.

3. Anna RF

This band was a revelation to me. I fell in love not only with their music, but their music was also the soundtrack to me falling in love with my boyfriend. Last year I saw them perform live in the Negev desert and I even met the lead singer, who sat down next to us in one of the big beduin tents. However, check out their music. There is a unique charm to it. It’s telling the band’s story of traveling the world to connect musicians and create a unique style of world music.


4. Nitzan Eshel

This song, Shanti, represents a more alternative kind of Israeli music, it’s an Indie production. I love the oriental spirit of it, mixed with electronic beats. The lyrics of Shanti were taken from an Indian mantra for peace and translated to Hebrew. The singer transferred these peaceful words into the Israeli realty of life, which is not so quiet and shanti. Israelis are obsessed with traveling to India and bring back many of the cultural goods like yoga and philosophy. Nevertheless, the young generation faces a lot of stress and struggles in Israel and can use a good dosage of shanti.

I hope you enjoyed this trip through the landscape of Israeli music. Now let me know: Which of the bands/singers is your favorite?

This bog post is part of the blogger village “Bloggerparade” of the month.

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  • Reply
    April 20 at 19:42

    ich freu mich auf eine neue musikalische reise 🙂

    • Reply
      Effi Lind
      April 20 at 19:52

      🙂 Und ich bin gespannt, was dir am besten gefällt.

  • Reply
    April 26 at 18:05

    Loved the music thanks. I love Hatikwa the national anthem ver much. 👍🏽

    • Reply
      Effi Lind
      April 26 at 21:06

      Actually, I just now listened to it for the first time. It sounds like a movie theme – amazing 🙂

  • Reply
    Jurek Molnar
    May 9 at 7:21


  • Reply
    Jurek Molnar
    May 9 at 7:23

    Avishai Cohen

    • Reply
      Effi Lind
      May 9 at 8:25

      Thank you for the inspiration, Jurek. 🙂 I love discovering new music.

  • Reply
    Jurek Molnar
    May 9 at 8:59

    You’re welcome. I attended a concert of Avishai Cohen at the Vienna Musikverein in 2016, where he played with his band and the Prague Symphony orchestra. He has an amazing depth of styles, played Arab tunes and songs together with Jazz, Jewish influences and classical music. I really like him.

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