Strange Folks
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Strange Folks

Band Alternative Folk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Concert Review"

"It's time now to react,
the whole wide world is watching.
So clean out your chimney
and roll up your stockings.
Smile hard when you stand,
smile harder when you fall.
And be careful where you sit,
'cause this country's too small."
Idan Rabinovici

What is not surprising, is that these words were written by an Israeli about Israel.
What is surprising, is that they were written in flawless English and sung in a lilting voice, backed by a large band of childhood friends.

This is The Collective, a group of seven talented multi-instrumentalists, who play together, jam together and stick up for each other in the competitive Israeli and international music industry.

This thread of camaraderie runs through everything they do, making the band that much more unique and its work that much more admirable.

The members of The Collective have been recording under various aliases - each one differing musically from the other - for years. The well-informed may have heard of Idan Rabinovici, whose English-language debut album Bedroom Folk, has been embraced by a steadily growing crowd since it quietly emerged four years ago.

The Collective's other lead vocalist, Roy Rieck, fronts the Medley Band, comprised of the aforementioned musicians, some of them in different roles. Clad in denim and plaid, Rieck makes music that is louder and heavier than Rabinovici's, deeply rooted in blues and the darker side of country.

The troupe spent a few months recording in London, where they rubbed shoulders with the Manic Street Preachers - well, they let them look at their guitars. Born from this was their new EP Strange Folks, named after Rabinovici's latest project. The customized felt cover, which the band handmade in their living room, gives it a do-it-yourself feel, disguising its sleek, sophisticated production.

But no matter what their music sounds like on CD, on stage it's bound to be bigger, better, more elaborate.

The Collective defines itself alternately as a "crumbling republic," a "monocracy" (perhaps a reference to gig-importing production company Monocrave, which has recently taken the group under its wing) and "a drunken jam session ... which has never read Brecht."
Translated into live music, that means a colorful, engaging show, which blends genres and sounds so seamlessly and skillfully that it leaves listeners mind-boggled. When they turn up the trumpet and bring on the drums, you think you've got their brassy, jazzy sound all figured out, and then they surprise you with a forlorn harmonica solo or an improvised clash between electric guitars.

Lending itself to a dozen genres, but rarely to one?clearly-defined style, the rich variety sometimes makes you feel like you're sitting in on a basement practice session; however, the stage presence of such a large number of professional musicians resonates, leaving no room for doubt.

At other times, it reaches rare peaks, for example when a Middle Eastern riff sneaks into all that harmonious cacophony. Or, when the funky, energetic melodies evoke the gypsy-inspired magic of Beirut.

The calming and grounding tones of an acoustic guitar cut into the fanfare, reminding us that this was originally recorded as, well, bedroom folk, and I find myself fervently hoping these guys will be big someday.

The Collective will be back in town on January 9, 2010, at Hakatze. Be there.
- Jerusalem Post - 14/12/2009


NME Short Sets - 18 July 2009

"Didn't see this one coming. The bearded weirdos NME just spotted trotting around this Camden boozer in baggy jeans and waistcoats and specs, tooting randomly on harmonicas and rattling bells, are now onstage dishing out romantic, dusty folk rock. Singer Idan Rabinovici, eyes closed throughout, hit every branch of the hottie tree on his way down, which certainly helps tonight's compelling performance along. Think Tindersticks with Jonny Greenwood guitars; all warmly layered, nicely textured and tight. Truly eccentricity gone right."


"Fresh Deer Meat"

Fresh Deer Meat - Single Reviews

Following mandatory military service in their native Tel Aviv, a collection of seven young men came together under the moniker Strange Folks to talk of their experiences and fuse together an eclectic sound that pulled on threads from everything from Middle Eastern folk to pop-stained jazz. 'Strange Floors' is sublime; a strange, confusion puzzle that you can't help but return to time and again. - Fresh Deer Meat


"Pure musical magic. Listening to a new album for the first time, and being completely floored by the first few sounds… This is exactly what happens when first listening to 'Morning Song', the opening track of Idan Rabinovici's debut album… From that moment on, one is completely captivated by Rabinovici's enchanting and intimate voice, which is both 40 years old and completely modern at the same time… "

Gal Uchovsky, TimeOut Israel - Timeout Tel-Aviv


"...Beautiful arrangements, both delicate and complicated... There is not a dull moment in Rabinovici's debut album – it is one of those albums that you keep coming back to, to immerse yourself in his delicate voice and fragile sound… That is exactly what good music is meant to do."

Gal Apleroit, NRG-Ma'ariv
- NRG-Ma'ariv

""Amazing songwriting... true genius!""

"Amazing songwriting... true genius!" - Michael Rorberger, Tel-Aviv Newspaper (Hair), Tel-Aviv

"Wow... just wow!"

"We like to see how many people we can fit on a stage at any one time", says Idan Rabinovici of Strange Folks - "the most we've ever managed is 16, tonight there's just 7."

And 7 works just fine for me, it's a good number, it sounds good on paper, it sounds awesome to the ear (although I'd love to see 16 of them play together). It was a fantastic show last night, its a simple as that.

It's rare today that you find something musically that sounds so fresh. 90% maybe more of what you hear you kind of think "oh man, they're good, they sound a bit like.........". that's not a bad thing, not every musician or band can have his/her/their own sound and if the comparison is good all the better but it makes it so great when you find something that doesn't sound like anything else, that has its own sound - ladies and gents, these guys are that unique sound.

Last night's double-header Strange Folks / Roy Rieck and The Medley Band farewell gig at The Slaughtered Lamb was just brilliant. A great way for the guys to sign off what's been a brilliant UK stay - if the volume of CD sales last night are anything to go by).

They are technically as musicians nothing short of amazing... I'll say it again and again till you all believe it and buy their albums.


- Mr.Rich's Music Review


2007 - "Bedroom Folk" (Debut LP) (Critically acclaimed with extensive radio airplay in Israel).
Released in Israel by High Fidelity Ltd.
Released in the UK by Cargo.

2009 - "Strange Folks" (EP)
Limited edition EP recorded at the Manic Street Preacher's Studio, featuring original handmade cover artwork made by the band.



The Collective were formed in 2006 in Tel-Aviv, and features some of the most popular indie musicians in Israel. The band has released, under separate names and guises, 3 albums, all receiving widespread critical acclaim and extensive airplay in Israel. The diversity of the band's music is immense, mixing up boogied-folk, jazz, electronic with a Middle Eastern-bluesy twang into a refreshing and distinctive and energetic sound.

This newly formed group were soon playing to packed out audiences in their home town and establishing a loyal fan-base, with no budget, no PR, no management and no business plan – just letting the music speak for itself. During 2009 the band started touring in Europe following a UK release of two of its albums - “Strange Folks” and “Never Trust the Holy Gracious Medley Band”, quickly gaining a local following and a reputation for show-stopping concerts, whilst supporting Okkervil River and Jose Gonzalez, (and even ended up recording at the Manic Street Preacher's private studio, courtesy of the band).

Enough words. Listen to the music. Come and join the Collective.