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‘The Reckoning’ is the debut international release by Asaf Avidan & The Mojos, a group that have turned into a national phenomenon in their home country of Israel – all without a record label, without the media and without a booking agent. It was only when the large venues of the country began to sell out that the industry realized their omission and unrolled the red carpet. The group received The Israelis Best New Artist award, gushing praise from music critics and a prestigious support slot handpicked by Morrissey.

Now it's finally time for the international release of ‘The Reckoning’ – the album that triggered the euphoria at home. On it, you'll find a unique blend of 60s-songwriter-folk, blues and indie rock evoking the spirit of John Lee Hooker, early Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin with a fresh energy. The latter reference has to do with Asaf's unusually high voice that screams and rages, pleads and whispers and reaches incredible heights.

Despite its reverences to a glorious past, ‘The Reckoning’ is an entirely modern record that brings together whatever you wish indie rock should be about – intensity, self-will, steadfastness, creative force. "In Israel, it's still a no-no to sing in English," says Asaf, "of course, people listen to Britney Spears and Bruce Springsteen around here, but the local folks are supposed to sing in Hebrew. That was another reason why at first the media didn´t want to know about us. But the people understood so much faster what we were about”.

The fact that Asaf and the Mojos come from Israel has never been an issue for them. "I´m neither proud nor ashamed of that," says Asaf. "I happen to be an Israeli just like my eyes happen to be blue. We drink from the cultural well of our history, but our music is universal – equally meaningful to someone in Dubai or New York or Tel Aviv. I write about relationships, about love, death and beyond, how strange our short stay here on this world is. You don't need any particular passport to understand that."

That cosmopolitan self-conception has to do with Asaf's personal history. Both parents were diplomats and spent the 70s in New York City. Asaf was born in Jerusalem in 1980 and grew up partly in Jamaica until 1991. The parents were used to Western life and owned a record collection that laid the ground for their son's music. "In the early 90s, I loved Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam – and found the origins of that music in my parents' closet. You listen to Zeppelin, Hendrix, Joplin, and then you go further back and find Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Billie Holiday. It's all connected."

Asaf Avidan & The Mojos are a close-knit community, that world comes alive on ‘The Reckoning’. There are five musicians in a room who fight and believe to create something that is beautiful and true. "A good record grows from life, maybe there's just one man who's clapping his hands – but if it comes from the heart and he believes it himself, it's enough."

Added by outpostmedia on May 10, 2010

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