Cloud Of I – The Cloud Of I
A full frontal leap into the Middle Eastern realms of Cloud of I, with sitar leading the charge to the psychedelic apex.
Dreamt up in the 18th District, in a Paris squat, and realised back in her spiritual home, of Tel Aviv, Cloud of I is Yuli Shafiri’s first musical incantation. The song Sail Away will launch the EP aptly entitled Gazing, from an artist who sees nature and earth as her biggest inspiration, and whose sound blurs somewhere between fuzzed out psychedelic acid folkery and intense, layered electronic euphoria full of influences from the Middle East.
Whilst only 27 years old she’s well educated on music from far away places. Her Mother’s family is from the Iraqi-Jewish community of India and her father’s family is Latvian and Lithuanian who came to Israel to founded a feminist agricultural Kibbutz called Kineret, on the sea of Galilee. So it’s no surprise to hear the journeying aspect of her songs as they grow and grow, sometimes growling, other times whispering yet always intent on climbing and descending. “I want the listener to enter an ecstatic meditative state” Yuli says, and that sense of out-of-body is alive on debut track Sail Away the first song from the EP taking cues from the ethereal, otherworldliness of Julia Holter and the global psychedelia of Goat, Khruangbin or Altın Gün. It’s a blueprint for the rest of the EP which is split between English and her mother Hebrew tongue.
In Tel Aviv Yuli used to sing and perform with a well known band called “The White Screen” (who play a mix of psych-pop and art-rock) and in the last two years, up until 2019, she has been singing Turkish 70’s psych with the band, Satellites. Asked about her recent dealings with inactivity and how she experienced 2020 she is serene and positive, having gone off–grid with her contemporaries in a village in Israel where she kept creating and performing in the open air, under the stars, and around bonfires.
The fire is most definitely burning. As Yuli looks ahead and dreams, we can enjoy this first foray that sees her literally reaching for the skies.