Originally published on KDHX.org
Eef Barzelay knows how to unfold a song, one origami lyric at a time.
These intimate, singer-songwriter cuts from the lead frontman of semi-dismantled, alt-country beatniks, Clem Snide, allow Barzelay to step out on his own once again and shine with his stellar lyricism. The Israeli-born American musician has an incredible knack for crafting soft and loving acoustic ballads for the intellectual crowd.
Though Clem Snide might be trying to plug away where it can, Barzelay has been working diligently on solo material, releasing a new EP in May, reminding listeners that he’s still here for the long haul. And his talents are only getting more refined with age.
Barzelay’s signature recorded collection for KDHX defies classification, which will make you adore these songs even more. It’s a pristine, Nick Drake-inspired indie folk, the kind that gets quieter the more you turn up the volume.
These sunny, faraway songs feature some of Barzelay’s greatest lyrics: “Did I tell you that I envied Lou Reed / When I heard when he died / I guess it just came at a time / when I, too, wanted off of this ride.”
Such thought provoking entries, coupled with an underlying bitterness of someone who “always throws the fight / and takes it lying down,” invites a comparison to Willie Nelson’s early demos, a songwriting process that laments but also speaks directly to the listener, evoking lonely road trips down the highway at 1 a.m. under a blanket of stars with lulling chord strumming that soothes and yet leaves you pining for more.
It’s an amorous and charming assortment that, turn after turn, crease upon crease, becomes something more than you ever thought it could be.