Things for the Mindby Ross Belfer | 21.08.16
I met Yotam Mahler on a whim. One day, an enigmatic email appeared in my overcrowded inbox, somehow demanding attention over the mountain of files. The personalized note depicted a confident, yet kind voice whose intonation suggested that “I better listen to his music” and “a disappointment it would be not”. And he was right.
Yotam Mahler, a singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, is all but your everyday Tel Aviv musical talent. Born and raised in the Kabbalistic city of Safed, Mahler’s gentle and spiritually drenched songs are sewn with cinematic string arrangements, electronic bass-y undertones and wailing keys and synths that build, echo and reverberate throughout each drop of sound. What tops the instrumentation itself is Mahler’s multi-octavated vocal presence, ripe with emotion and dripping in a confidence that is both gentle and boisterous.
Flashes of How to Dress Well, Antony and the Johnsons and Prince strike a chord of familiarity while listening to each of Mahler’s five-tracks on his debut EP, What is You Art, for which the first single, Late Bloomer, includes a toasty video performed in the very residence in Jaffa’s Ajami neighborhood that the budding stalwart calls home.
Until you get the chance to experience Yotam Mahler firsthand, I leave you with a series of images taken last month, during my first introduction to the vibrant soul.