March 6, 2008

Test Spin: Yael Naim

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Yael Naim, known (or not known, as the case may be) for singing the accompaniment for the Macbook Air commercial (“New Soul”) is relatively new on the music scene with her first, self-titled album. Amongst a current influx of talented female crooners (Feist, Sia), Naim stands out with her beautiful, clear vocals, simple yet haunting lyrics (even though many of her songs are in Hebrew) and scorching Israeli accent.

I’ll admit, I’m a fan partially because of the trilingualism (Naim was born in Paris but spent much of her childhood in Ramat Hacharon, a town near Tel Aviv in Israel), and because I can understand two out of the three languages she sings in. But don’t be dissuaded by the foreign language requirement; Naim’s folk-pop style is worth listening to even if you don’t understand what she’s saying. Personal favorites are “Far Far,” (all in English!), “Paris,” and a breakout cover of Britney’s “Toxic,” which, even this fan admits, puts the old version to shame.