Happy, angry, sad, bitchy, too good for anything, in love, dramatic — I literally have a playlist for each of these moods and more. Music should align with your current vibe, and mine is constantly changing. When gathering my Top 20 Israeli pop songs I made sure to keep all of my moods in mind. As you will see, this list is all pop music, but each song has a different vibe; it’s the perfect playlist for a fun weekend, a workout, chilling at home or anything you are doing right now.
1“Harakdan Haotomati” (The Automatic Dancer) – Svika Pick
Svika Pick was the first Israeli pop “king;” in Israel he is called “the maestro.” This song is all about letting loose and enjoying the music without giving it too much thought. It just makes me want to jump around and sing like no one is watching.
2“Hachi Israeli” (Most Israeli) – Hatikva 6
Hatikva 6 is an Israeli reggae band. They sing mostly mostly about the experience of being Israeli. This song is captures the essence; the whole song is built around places, activities and Israeli manners. It’s very fast and crazy, I took the time to learn the words with my friends, which was no easy task, but definitely a fun one.
3“Toy” – Netta Barzilai
Netta was the Israeli representative and winner of the latest Eurovision — this is the song she won with. It’s crazy, new, funky and cool, it talks about female empowerment, and is the biggest hit in Israel today. The music video is definitely worth watching.
4“A Ba Ni Bi” – Izhar Cohen
Izhar Cohen won the 1978 Eurovision with this song and was the first Israeli to earn that honor. This up-tempo disco song talks about love. It uses the Bet language — which is a children’s language game where each syllable of the word is repeated with the letter Bet replacing the consonant. (Kind of like something you’d see on Sesame Street)
5“Hakos Ha’Kchula” (The Blue Glass) – Ivri Lider
Ivri lider is an Israeli pop star and part of the duo TYP (The Young Professionals). He never explains the meaning of his songs, he believes in personal interpretation. In his words: “I don’t want to get to the point where I control what my songs will mean.” Listen and decide for yourself.
6“Golden Boy” – Nadav Gudej
Nadav is a young Israeli pop star. He was Israel’s Eurovision representative in 2015. He has an incredible voice and is one of the first Israeli R&B artists. This song is about a broken-hearted man who finds comfort in dancing and invites others to join. The great rhythm will definitely make you want to move.
7“26” – Nathan Goshen
Nathan Goshen is an Israeli electronic pop star. He has been traveling the world with his music and has been met with great success. This song is about loneliness and insecurities that are caused by social media and the irony of it — since it purports to connect people. It is very popular and is all over Israeli nightclubs.
8“Yo Ya” – Kaveret
Kaveret is a very well-known Israeli band from the 70’s. They often sing humorous songs and have a unique style of music. This song is constructed around funny sayings and idioms.
9“Rakevet Laila LeCair” (Night Train to Cairo) – Mashina
Mashina is an Israeli rock band that in many respects shaped the Israeli rock scene. This song is inspired by the British band Madness. It was written after the first Lebanon war, when one of the band members felt a big dissonance between his day to day life and the experience he had in the war. Still, it’s very lively and will definitely make you want to dance.
10“Melech HaOlam” (King of the World) – Shlomo Artzi
Shlomo Artzi is an Israeli folk rock artist and one of the most successful Israeli artists of our time. This song is the Israeli version of “When you are a King” by Plains White. It’s a super popular song in Israel. It talks about unconditional love and support and is frequently used by mothers who dedicate it to their sons at their Bar Mitzvah.
11“Ihiye Beseder” (Everything Will Be Ok) – Cafe Shahor Hazak
An Israeli hip-hop duo of Ethiopian origins, Ihiye Beseder’s songs are about happiness and loving life, in their words “the first thing that happens when people see Ethiopians singing is that they expect us to say that things are hard for us. But life is beautiful sometimes”. This song is a teen favorite in Israel and is played in bars and at parties all over the country.
12“Tutim” (Strawberries) – Ethnix
Ethnix is an Israeli pop-rock band. Their music is a mix of Asian and Western melodies. This song uses a joyful tune as it speaks to the conflict between love and war, and the importance of hope.
13“Rakevet LaTzafon” (A Train Up North) – Assaf Amdursky
An Israeli electronic-rock artist, Assaf Amdursky is a judge on the show “The Rising Star” and is known for being very critical and hard to impress. This song has a free spirit melody and is about getting lost and letting yourself reevaluate things in your life.
14“Inyan Shel Zman” (A Matter of Time) – Gidi Gov
Gidi Gov is an Israeli rock-pop artist who was part of the band Kaveret. This song is about exploring new things that come your way as a young high school student. It is the kind of song you want to sing on a road trip with the windows wide open.
15“Ve’eem Tavo’ee Elay” (And if You Will Come to Me) – Idan Raichel
Idan Raichel is an Israeli pop-folk artist. The diversity of the Jewish diaspora and Israeli citizenry influenced him to work with an array of world musicians including Ethiopian Jews, and Arabs. This song is relatively new and has a great rhythm. It is about love and the excitement of it all.
16“Bazman Haacharon” (Lately) – Idan Amedi
An Israeli pop artist, Idan Amedi is known for writing songs about his army experiences. He expresses his emotions and shares his thoughts through his lyrics and that’s what makes him so relatable. This song has great beats and powerful lyrics — the combination is perfect. It is about feeling disconnected and critical of yourself, and ultimately asking for help.
17“Haverot Shelah” (Your Friends) – Omer Adam
An Israeli oriental-pop artist, Omer Adam is one of the top selling artists in Israel. His songs are played all over bars, clubs, weddings etc. most of his music is upbeat. This song is his most popular song today next to “Shney Meshugaim.”
18Tudo Bom (Everything Is Good) – Static & Ben El Tavori
Static & Ben El Tavori are the most successful Israeli pop duo today. They are known for their great “new-age” music and crazy outfits. This song was influenced by Brazilian pop and has Portuguese words in it. Tudu Bom = everything is good.
19“Amsterdam” – Noar Shulaim
An Israeli pop-rock band, Noar Shulaim reached the height of fame in Israel from 1986-1991. This song is about the dreams of an Israeli to see and travel to a new place, experience its culture, and find peace of mind abroad.
20“Hachi Karov Elaich” (The Closest to You) – Elai Botner Ft. Aviv Alush
Elai is an Israeli pop artist and an incredible song writer. This song is very energetic; it is about love and relationships.