When Israeli Music Becomes World Music

Fool’s Gold is a truly multicultural band: Caribbean guitars, African rhythms, a big-band horn section, and American indie-rock production. And, of course, Hebrew lyrics.

Uh, what?

Turns out that the lead singer of Fool’s Gold, Luke Top, is Israeli. Well: he’s sort of Israeli.

“I was born in Israel but grew up in America,” he says. “Singing and writing in Hebrew helps me to connect to a culture that I am detached from.”

These days, like a lot of other Israeli expats, Fool’s Gold is based in Los Angeles. Multicultural and multiracial (the band’s other leader, Lewis Pesacov, is half-Jewish), they sound a lot like the Congo-inspired band Vampire Weekend, but it would be a crime to try and pin down their influences — there’s just so damn many.

We’re going to drop Top a few questions when he comes by. In the meantime, though, we’re basking in the video. You can’t really get more quintessentially Israeli than old fat dudes with wonky hair and beach babes. Unless, of course, you got teenage Hasidic dudes with wonky hair playing acoustic guitars for women in heavy Bedouin coverups. Well, there’s still seven other colossal songs to use for the second video…

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