Home is where the song is

Young Israeli singer-songwriter Shahaf Ifhar has come home to record his third release.

Shahaf Ifhar (photo credit: Dimi Reider)
Shahaf Ifhar
(photo credit: Dimi Reider)
Young Israeli singer-songwriter Shahaf Ifhar has come home to record his third release. Born in Israel, Ifhar has spent a significant part of his creative life abroad. His songs - thoughtful, pensive pieces reminiscent of Yoni Rechter, Joni Mitchell or Tori Amos - are in English. The new batch was written in the UK, but Ifhar found he had to travel back to Israel to begin recording. "I think I needed to be here to start working," says Ifhar. "It was pretty obvious to me that I had to get re-acquanted with the place that I call home." A search for home underlies much of Shahaf's music. The song "Rose," which closes the new album, openly wonders: "I think about 'home' - don't know why I call it that." "I think the idea of home can be a very vague one, especially living in a place like London," muses Ifhar. "So it seems my preoccupation started with an emotional reaction that was almost jealousy, jealousy of people who are very deeply rooted." Sounds like a pretty lonely experience. "It often is," he replies. "We all have notions of ourselves and of the roles we play in other people's lives. But when you allow for a change in those notions, it can get quite scary. I know the tempation of leaning back on something that's 'really' there, that is supposed to be in your blood - family, friends, heritage. But then again, invention is always lonely." In keeping to the puzzle of home and exile that informs the album, the EP itself will be released in the UK, while the first preview gig will be in Tel Aviv. The Left Bank has long served as a launching stage for many artists of the Israeli avant garde, from cabaret theater to rock bands. On Thursday it'll be just Ifhar with a black grand piano and a pack of songs. Thursday, 9:30 p.m., Left Bank, 70 Ahad Ha'am, Tel Aviv, NIS 30