Audio Mixer: Kyle Johnson.
Recording information: Darech Yatto 44, Tel Aviv.
Photographer: Jennifer Abessira.
Israeli trio Vaadat Charigim immediately established a distinctive sound with their 2013 debut, The World Is Well Lost, playing wall-of-sound shoegaze with clear melodies and lyrics sung entirely in Hebrew. As with the trio's first album, their sophomore effort, Sinking as a Stone, was recorded in the group's home studio with producer Kyle Johnson. The band's sound hasn't changed drastically since the first album, but the songs are more ambitious, with nearly all of them exceeding five minutes and opener "Neshel" clocking in at nearly 11. A few moments experiment with different percussion textures, such as the vintage drum machine buried underneath "Hadavar Haamiti" and the thundering toms during the last couple minutes of eight-minute standout "Klum." Despite the extended song lengths, the album never feels indulgent. The songs all have driving rhythms and seem composed with clear emphasis on melodies rather than hazy production effects. The album's lyrics focus on boredom, particularly boredom and frustration involved with living in a city, and while the music can seem sad and downcast, it still has an urgency to it, and Yuval Haring's echo-shrouded vocals are haunting enough to leave an impression on non-Hebrew-speaking listeners. Album closer "Hashiamum Shokea" has a slower tempo than the six previous songs, and immediately feels like a relaxing comedown. Sinking as a Stone is a strong, immersive album that is well worth getting lost in. ~ Paul Simpson