local indie band Haya Miller 370.
(photo credit: Michal Shani)
Kosta Kaplan, the lead singer of the band Haya Miller, can count on one hand the
number of indie bands that perform their songs in Hebrew.
maybe three or four major ones in all of Israel. Most of the popular bands play
in English,” he said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.
looking to escape the hype of the Maccabiah games may want to head over to Tel
Aviv on Thursday night, where the Hebrew rock band will perform songs from their
debut album, Shelf Life, at Levontin 7 at 10 p.m.
The band has been a
staple of the indie music scene in Israel for a long time and has performed all
over the country, gaining a following for its Western sound.
we make is formed by the clash of different genres,” said bassist Udi Bonen,
himself a fan of 1980s music. Kaplan prefers pop songs from the early
millennium, and the drummer, Stav Ben-Shachar, is influenced by 1960s rock and
After five years of recording, the genre-defying trio will finally
release their 11- song album.
The tracks have the tousled, danceable
quality of something you might encounter in a curtained New York City or London
lounge. The band likens themselves to Arctic Monkeys or The Strokes, groups
popular from the early 2000s. Kaplan calls it “pop music dressed in
However, the most revolutionary aspect about the music is not the
sound – it’s the Hebrew lyrics.
“Some people are trying to write lyrics
that speak to the rest of the world. Some people are just trying to do it
locally. That’s what separates us from other bands,” Kaplan said.
group is more concerned with capturing the idiosyncrasies of the Hebrew language
than appealing to the international scene.
The songs concern the
desperation of routine – the pain of waking up in the morning, of going to work,
meeting women. Growing pains.
“We are grown up now, but not sure how
grown up,” said Stav.
The lead single, “She doesn’t dance when nobody’s
looking,” has an upbeat feel, even though the lyrics are tinged with
Despite the passion of the lyrics, Haya Miller never expected
to rise to the same level of popularity Western bands enjoy. Although there are
myriad exciting groups touring around Israel, there is no real thread attaching
“There isn’t a lot of collaboration,” Bonen said. “The only way to
connect to other musicians play at clubs as often as possible.”
one or two festivals that happen twice a year, like In-D-Negev. Bands get a bit
more publicity there, maybe an audience of 3,000 to 5,000 people. But it’s not a
scene with buses and tours and flailing fans.
“No one has a lot of
money. We have to do everything by ourselves,” Bonen said.
after five years of intense recording in Beersheba, the group’s hard work has
finally paid off.
For those who cannot make it to the Thursday concert,
where the trio performs their debut album, there will be another show in
Jerusalem at HaTaklit on July 26. Tickets are available at the door.