Shiri: Play Israeli music
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Shiri: Play Israeli music

There’s a new music app out, and I can’t get enough of it.

It’s called Shiri, which is Hebrew for “my song.” Sponsored in part by the Israeli government, it’s a streaming jukebox of decades of Israeli music.

Shiri boasts that it offers higher royalties to artists than any other streaming service, but the good news for users is that the service is free and without commercial interruptions.

Unlike services such as Spotify, you can’t choose to listen to individual albums or specific artists. Instead, you choose your three favorite artists — I went with Shlomo Artzi, Si Hi-Man, and Mashina, reflecting the music of my time in Israel three decades ago — and it plays a remarkable playlist that reflects the quality of singer-songwriters and dad rock that I loved then and loved now. It does a far better job than Spotify in going wide within the genre, and deep. A good portion of Israeli artists aren’t on Spotify. It was a treat to hear Yaakov Rotblit for the first time in 30 years.

Unfortunately, you can’t replay a song or even go back to the beginning. Which was a problem when a song suddenly jumped to my foreground consciousness for featuring a melodic, harmonic chorus of the words “Sloan Kettering.” WTF?

I stopped the app, read the name of the performer, and then was able to listen to Ariel Horowitz’s 2016 album “Hagiborim Sheli” at leisure on Spotify. Yes, “Sloan Kettering” is about cancer. No, I don’t fully understand the song yet, but I’m playing it on repeat.

And I’m very grateful to Shiri for letting me explore new dad-friendly Israeli music.

You can download Shiri from the Apple and Android app stores, by searching for the Hebrew word. (The app is Hebrew-only at the moment.) And you can make your own judgement on the catchy chorus of “Sloan Kettering” at http://bit.ly/ArielSK.

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