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Born and raised in Israel, Itamar Ziegler might find himself pigeonholed and subsequently ignored by indie aficionados whose instincts will firmly place him within the “World Music” genre. It’s a shame, because anyone who overlooks "Memories of Now" will be missing a real treat. A treasure chest of tinkly instrumentation, dexterous acoustic play, poetic lyricism and strong pop melodies, the album is a slightly zany experience, with the song writing and arrangements rarely treading any kind of obvious ground. For example, opener ‘The Story Must Be Told’ captures that big-top, funhouse feel with its peculiar flutes and Arabian-esque guitar lead. ‘To Father’ is reminiscent of White Album-era McCartney with its delicate acoustic plucks and hypnotic vocal. An ode to his sadly deceased father, the record rarely shies away from important subject matter, often touching on themes of life, death, social injustice and war. On ‘Lordy Lord’, the militant percussion is the backdrop of the album’s most politically charged track as Ziegler bemoans the senselessness of war in God’s name. “We know you love us/We know you hate them/And when a child dies/It’s in your name,” he croons desperately. Indeed, the whole piece has an emotional core that coupled with Ziegler’s clever musicianship makes "Memories of Now" an unexpected winner. - Dean Van Nguyen
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