Never has there been a more poignant time for me to listen to a song about missing our loved ones than right now. Well that is exactly what Éyal Hai’s new track “I Miss” is all about. First a bit of background about the song. Being isolated at home, disconnected from his family and friends it resurfaced old feelings, reminding Hai of a song he wrote during his first days in NYC, far away from everybody he loved. The outcome is “I miss”, a personal bitter-sweet lullaby with a nostalgic yet contemporary vibe, that is likely to strike a chord with isolated hearts around the world.
When you first listen to “I Miss” you are instantly transported to a soft, whimsical, almost dream-like world. It has a sleepy charm to it and which may give its feel to the fact that it was initially recorded as a voice memo on Hai’s iPhone at 3am in a small Brooklyn apartment 5 years ago. Hai says “I was trying not to wake my neighbours up while I was writing a song about my deepest feelings. I had just moved to NYC after graduating from Berklee, hoping to fit into the local music scene. I was far away from my family and friends in Tel-Aviv, and even further away from my girlfriend in Australia. The song was an expression of how foreign and lonely I felt. I never recorded the song, or thought about it too much, until now”.
So fast forward to today, with more than 3 million Spotify listeners, regular performances around the US with his Funky saxophone quartet “The Side Project”, we now have Hai who ironically enough, just after relocating back to Tel-Aviv a few months ago with his fiance (the same one from the song), the COVID-19 crisis separated Hai from his loved ones once again. It was now he decided to dust off “I miss” and release it into the world.
“I miss” is a very personal song and it still gives off that hint of being originally recorded as a voice memo, you can feel his longing, his desire to be with those most important in his life and you can’t help but be moved by the lyrics. It also has a remarkable feel-good factor to it, the melody, the folk style whistling and unique harmonies. The use of orchestration is excellent, including saxophones and soft guitar, Hai creates a perfect old-school vibe, you can imagine it could have been recorded decades ago such is it's charm. Hai recorded the song alone in his Jaffa home, then adding the bass/ percussion tracks which were recorded by his colleagues drummer Dani Danor and bass player Daniel Sapir in their NY apartments. Symbolically enough, the mastering of the track took place in New York where the song was born, and where thousands of people are sitting alone in their homes these days.
So “I Miss” is definitely a keeper for me and personally a song for my chill-out playlist. It definitely makes you reflect during these difficult and for some very lonesome times. I also think it grows on you - in my opinion what a song should do. You get to know it better over time and you get to resonate with it more. I am definitely looking forward to hearing this a few times where I’m sure it will have even more impact with each listen.
Reviewer - Mary Fogg
on - 25/4/20