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Jack Black, HAIM, Flaming Lips & More Team Up for New Hanukkah Album

Alana Haim, Danielle Haim, and Este Haim of HAIM
Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Alana Haim, Danielle Haim, and Este Haim of HAIM attend Rodarte FW19 Fashion Show at The Huntington Library and Gardens on Feb. 5, 2019 in San Marino, Calif. 

 

Jack Black, HAIM, The Flaming Lips, Yo La TengoLoudon Wainwright III, Adam Green of Moldy Peaches and more are coming together for the festive new record Hanukkah+, which is due for release Nov. 22 via Verve Forecast Records.

To celebrate the upcoming Jewish Festival of Lights, Grammy-winning music supervisor Randall Poster produced a 12-song track list featuring original and classic renditions with a longstanding roster of Jewish and non-Jewish artists he's known for the last 25 years.

"With the collision of these artists and songs, I tried to create a spiritual reflection of one of the three big Jewish holidays," he said in a press release. "How do you make something where each song is part of a whole? I built it piece by piece, artist by artist."

He was inspired by Yo La Tengo's eight-night concert stint titled "Hanukkah Run," which will be held at New York's Bowery Ballroom on Dec. 22-29. "When our old friend Randy Poster asked us to contribute to an album of Hanukkah songs he was putting together, we were kind of stumped," recalled Yo La Tengo in the release. "As non-practicing Jews (and non-Jews), truthfully the holiday has little meaning for us (that's the meta joke behind Yo La Tengo's Hanukkah shows), but we were open to inspiration."

For Green, he tapped into his childhood Hanukkah lore to tell a different tale about the oil burning for eight days on "Dreidels of Fire," with lyrics that delve into a story of modern heartbreak about the menorah: "She turned my festival of lights into a festival of pain."

Black is the only recording artist on the project who contributed two songs to the compilation. For Poster, "That was the gift wrapping." His rendition of the traditional "Oh Hanukkah" is accompanied by "Chad Gadya," which customarily closes the Passover seder meal. "There's a real Jewish sparkle to it, and Jack really gave us a frame to hold the rest of the record."

HAIM cover Leonard Cohen's "If It Be Your Will" from his 1984 LP Various Positions, while The Flaming Lips supplied their original song "Sing It Now, Sing It Somehow." Poster considers witnessing the American rock band to be a spiritual experience in and of itself. "Seeing The Flaming Lips is going to temple -- if they had unicorns and body glitter as sacraments," he said in the release. "So I thought their spiritual connection would be relevant to celebration, contemplation and the spirit of the holiday." 

Check out the tracklist to Hanukkah+, which you can pre-order here.

1. "Oh Hanukkah" by Jack Black
2. "Dreidels Of Fire" by Adam Green
3. "Eight Candles" by Yo La Tengo
4. "If It Be Your Will" by HAIM
5. "Sing It Now, Sing It Somehow" by The Flaming Lips
6. "Hanukkah In ‘96" by Alex Frankel
7. "Give You Everything" by Buzzy Lee
8. "Dedication" by Tommy Guerrero
9. "Eight Nights A Week" by Loudon Wainwright III
10. "Hanukkah Dance" by Watkins Family Hour
11. "Sanctuary" by Craig Wedren
12. "Chad Gadya (Passover Bonus)" by Jack Black


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