June 20, 2016

Israeli band Jane Bordeaux has won over Internet users with its visually captivating music video for the song “Ma’agalim” (Cycles). That the song is sung in Hebrew – which most of the 1.6 million viewers probably can’t understand – hasn’t halted its viral trajectory.

The video is set inside an old penny arcade in which a wooden doll is stuck in place while the world around her changes and passes by.

Viewers and critics have cited the gorgeous animation. A look at the credits shows that director Uri Lotan has worked on projects with Sony Pictures Image works, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

“Please take a few moments to immerse yourself in this lovely new music video for folk country trio Jane Bordeaux’s ‘Ma’agalim.’ The animated short transports us inside a device inspired by components from an old penny arcade device that contains a perpetually moving landscape where people go about their daily lives. The attention to detail in color and texture of every frame is breathtaking,” writes Christopher Jobson on Colossal, one of the top 50 blogs on the web.

“Lotan’s attention to detail and anthropomorphization of the wooden dolls captivates, and would continue to, even if our protagonist stayed trapped in the same routine forever. His training at Disney/Pixar and subsequent work on big budget films like Hotel Transylvania 2 prove he has chops, but ‘Ma’agalim’ stands on its own as an audiovisual delight,” according to a review by The Creators Project.

This short film is the latest in Israeli-designed music videos to garner an international audience. Israeli directors Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia recently won praise for their music video for Coldplay’s “Up&Up.”

The Yaron Yashinski Studio was also given animation high-fives for its mystical atmosphere of Indian culture in the band’s “Hymn for the Weekend” video.

Of course, Jane Bordeaux’s video is unique in that it is in Hebrew and difficult for anyone who cannot speak the language to sing along to.

Before this video came out, the country-folk trio was better known in Israel for its 2014 breakthrough hit, “Eich Efshar Sheloh” (How Could It Not Be).

That song, as well as “Ma’agalim,” appears on the band’s EP album released in 2014.

Jane Bordeaux was founded in 2012 by Doron Talmon (vocals and percussion), Amir Zeevi (guitar, ukulele and vocals) and Mati Gilad (double bass and vocals).

The Jane Bordeaux trio. Photo: courtesy
The Jane Bordeaux trio. Photo: courtesy

The band has played in numerous festivals around Israel, growing its audiences from gig to gig. According to the Jerusalem Post, Jane Bordeaux was the most played band of 2015 on Galgalatz, the country’s most popular radio station.

A new album is reportedly in the works. Perhaps there will be another magnificent video to go with it.

Translated lyrics of“Ma’agalim”

Nights turns into days
Days turn into years
And inside them I am going
Fast and in circles
Winds are blowing at me
Blowing down my neck
Everything seems too far
Overwhelming me

It’s not me that’s progressing
It’s just the time that’s moving on
It’s just another passing train
It’s a further tightening rope

Sunrises sinking fast
Seasons passing more
And I am the same
while the time is cutting short

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director