Army-inspired: Nadav Guedj releases “Ulay Nedaber” as first single from new album


He’s the golden boy who flew us from the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna to the sandy beaches of Tel Aviv in 2015. And on December 26, Nadav Guedj shifted our attention to Israel once again, this time with an emotional song about lonely love, “Ulay Nedaber” (Maybe We’ll Talk).

The single is Nadav’s first release from his upcoming album, which means that it might be our best taste of the content and musical style of what’s to come. Having not heard from Guedj in 18 months, though, the question must be asked: what has Tel Aviv’s golden boy been up to?

Scroll down for video and lyrics

“Ulay Nedaber”

Singing to a mid-tempo beat and hardly anything more than an accompanying guitar, Nadav pares back his boisterous style. Instead of overpowering us with the synth, he’s directing all focus toward the song’s lyrics and his soulful voice.

And the content of “Ulay Nedaber” deserves the attention it’s been given. Guedj sings of a relationship long over, which he not only can’t move on from, but doesn’t want to move on from. Falling “in love more and more,” all he can manage is to stare at the clock, do his best to impress, and wonder why nothing has worked.

In the end, it isn’t clear what exactly went awry in his relationship — whether he was too self-centered, or he and his lover simply weren’t meant for each other. What is clear, though, is that Nadav still has hope. The message resonates in the title: maybe they will talk again, maybe their love can be rekindled.

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“I’m very happy with this song,” Guedj has said of his latest track. “I’ve been working on Hebrew material for a long time and am very happy with the result.” We second that!

Music video

Like the music video for “Golden Boy”, “Ulay Nedaber’s” clip was directed by Elad Wiessman. Wiessman has helped direct Israel’s Eurovision performances for the last few years as well, but he fittingly took a more subtle approach with this music video.

Shot in a red hotel whose inhabitants seem to span the border between reality and fiction, the clip focuses on Nadav’s inability to keep everything straight in his emotional state. It seems that as time passes, Guedj pictures himself with the girl he loves, wondering where their love might have taken them. Outside of his head, though, time only passes.

A musician and a soldier

It’s easy to forget how young the French-Israeli singer was when he represented his country at Eurovision 2015, but Nadav’s absence from the music charts can be explained just as easily. Like all Israeli citizens, Guedj has been fulfilling his civil duty as a soldier, after enlisting at the age of 18 (a full year and a half after his Eurovision appearance).

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Every army aims to operate like a well-oiled machine, and one key to smooth operation is high morale. And what boosts morale better than music? It’s no surprise that the army has its own designated band, and it’s somehow even less of a surprise that Nadav found himself a part of it.

The album’s inspiration

Having spent time performing all across Israel as part of the military band, Nadav has cited his experiences as the main inspiration for his new album. That being said, it seems fitting that the album will be entirely in Hebrew, although this marks quite a departure from the English pop hits “Good Vibes” and “Jump” that Guedj churned out in 2015.

In an interview with ynet, the singer said: “[My time in the army] made me want to start writing, and to produce material in Hebrew.”

Knowing that this language change is coming from Nadav’s heart, we are confident that whatever his album may lose in accessibility, it will make up for doubly in authenticity.

“Ulay Nedaber” lyrics

The thoughts won’t let me sleep,
In the living room, I’m staring at the clock that doesn’t move again.
It’s getting late,
and tomorrow we continue to Monday.
Without you, I feel empty.
Everything is sad and it’s not usual
for me and you.
If I had the courage to say

Maybe we’ll talk,
I’m in love with you more and more,
And my heart isn’t ready to let you go
Tell me, on a smile like that,
How is it possible to give up?
At night, unloading on the piano again,
Every sentence that comes out,
I just remember you.
I’ve already tried everything
And now you’re not here.

So the days go by,
I’m looking again for ways to impress,
But I do not blame you,
That you left and took everything
And said that I’m always self-centered.
I’m not ready to again imagine again whom you are with now,
Everything is so sudden.

Maybe we’ll talk….

What do you think of Nadav’s comeback single? Is his serious side a refreshing change, or was the carefree happiness of “Golden Boy” all you really ever needed? Let us know in the comments section below!

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