KIDS—the new album from Israeli hip-hop/ pop artist Noga Erez, which is available now via City Slang—feels emotionally weighted yet subtly triumphant, providing a swagger-inflected and confidently mellow take on finding your way.
While the songs feel quite personal, and the instrumentation often comes across as more poignantly emotive than glibly bombastic, providing a spotlight for Erez’s dynamic singing, there’s also a definite air of slowly building emotional release surrounding the music. The tracks provide a rush that makes their energy seem a bit communal, like the sounds of a spontaneously gathering street party.
Within these songs, there’s a rather organic, sonic variance. Alongside Erez’s sometimes-simmering and sometimes-more-aggressive singing, the instrumentals feel rich, and the sound, which seems rather crisply produced, pops with a rather captivating dynamism.
The music lands like an emotional outpouring grounded in everyday experience—there’s a wide range across the album, from theatrically shimmering beats to more confrontationally bellicose tones, but the whole piece feels inwardly tied together by self-assured passion.
The swaggering-yet-meditatively-inclined album kicks off, in part with the steady-yet-free-wheeling whimsy of “Cipi,” which isn’t super forward—at least compared to other moments on the album—but still comes across as quite firmly grounded. KIDS, as a whole, seems underpinned by a relentless but realistically (and sometimes all-too-relatably) uneasy self-assertion. The journey towards a sense of self-determination isn’t a straight shot, but with her enlivening music, Erez keeps moving.
As KIDS rolls on, tracks like “VIEWS” and “End of the Road” feel particularly pointed, but enriching, dramatic dynamics just about always mark the sound. The mostly mid-tempo and rather earnest rhythms shift with a somewhat jarring—but also rather danceable—vibe, like Noga Erez and her collaborator and partner Ori Rousso are soundtracking a hazy outdoor dance party at dusk, where strings of lights fill the area.
In other words, the album is invigoratingly loose and compellingly meditative, striking a poignant and personal balance.
The actual tones across KIDS often feel rather warmly full, although standout moments (among many) like the relatively brisk track “Fire Kites” pack a more confrontational atmosphere, with sharper beats.
Elsewhere, the album’s title track, which features a guest spot from rap artist Blimes Brixton, reintroduces some of the smokily meditative drama from elsewhere on the album, while “No News On TV,” which features a guest vocal spot from Rousso, delivers one of the record’s brightest-feeling jaunts, although there’s still a relatively free-wheeling and emotively dynamic undercurrent.
KIDS reflects anxiety, but the album doesn’t stay there. Instead, the songs roll out a heartfelt search for a kind of personal security, and although no moment on the album feels particularly conclusive in the sense of closing up this segment of the emotional journey, Noga Erez and her collaborators clearly move the direction that they’re after. Even in the most vulnerably emotive moments, there’s a level of tenacity in the sound, and the strength feels edifying.
Purchase this album at this link.