PLENTY OF SHOEGAZE BANDS employ lyrics. You just have to dig through all the dreamlike production, the sheets of electric-guitar fuzz, and the slurred vocals—stretched across eloooongated notes—to find 'em.
Israeli shoegaze trio Vaadat Charigim further clouds its words, at least to most American ears; guitarist/vocalist Juval Haring sings entirely in Hebrew. A self-described lover of lyrics, Haring is not bothered by the idea that big chunks of his band's growing fanbase may be singing along without knowing a single word.
"Fans ask about word meanings and we try and translate, and that's a lot of fun," says Haring in an email interview. "If the person is engaging the music with an open mind, I don't care if they ignore the lyrics. Subconsciously they will absorb the meaning of the music through tone."
Indeed, Vaadat Charigim excels at tone. On both their 2013 debut album, The World Is Well Lost, and its follow-up, Sinking as a Stone—which comes out next week on California's Burger Records—Vaadat Charigim conjure up acres of dusky, dreamy shoegaze smeared with heavy dabs of 21st-century ennui, '80s jangle-pop, and timeless melancholy.
The band (Haring, drummer Yuval Guttman, and bassist Dan Fabian Bloch) sprouted from a Tel Aviv music scene brimming with DIY spirit but bereft of bands with a similar style. "People doing things together for absolutely no good financial reason" is how Haring describes it. "Just to get together and do something with all the nothing and boredom from how pointless the politics are and where the country is heading."
When The World Is Well Lost got some traction in America, Vaadat Charigim suddenly found themselves with an ultra-hip record label and vastly expanded horizons. The band entered a bigger, fancier studio to record Sinking, but ultimately retreated to its home studio to finish the job.
"The opposite of what you would expect of some self-aware artist trying to match his own hype," Haring says. "We just go with gut feeling and are mostly led by intuition."
So far, so good. Up to this point, Vaadat Charigim's collective instinct has led it in the right direction, though you might not know it to hear Haring assess the future.
"Just had Chinese yesterday. Fortune cookie said: 'Face facts with dignity,'" he says. "So that's my answer. Basically shed another layer of bullshit on the way to our core, which is really a big black hole."