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Beloved Briveleers,

This is an email to remind you (or, tell you in the first place) that we're officially releasing our second (or, first full-length) album, Cradle Songs, Grave Songs, tomorrow: Saturday, May 1st in honor of May Day! You can still pre-order the album at the 20% off rate right up through tonight, or you can wait until it's released and you'll be able to actually listen to all the songs on Bandcamp and, you know, make sure you like them first. But we think you will like them! 
And what's more, the reviews are already rolling in. So, if you remain unconvinced or just enjoy a good kvell sesh, please read the extremely kind words below.

With their first album, A Little Letter, Brivele introduced themselves to the world with a bang. Their fresh, brave and often hilarious approach to making new Jewish leftist culture announced them as an important part of What Is Happening With Yiddish Song These Days. 

Cradle Songs, Grave Songs is even better, and it reinforces the point that these people are intent on creating a body of work that will stand as an important part of the story of the long line of Jews, going back to the Bund and beyond, who made and make anti-capitalist, anti-patriarchy, anti-white supremacy, anti-Zionist, anti-boring new culture, culture that brings people together and warms them, to make them feel less alone when things are tough. 

There is serious Yiddish song scholarship, serious musicianship, and gorgeous, spine-tingling harmonies here. And laughs, and defiance. I love this record.

~Geoff Berner, singer/songwriter/novelist

I am so grateful to Brivele for creating this sonic storehouse of treasure. Each  song is a well crafted journey. Each track, a souvenir I can touch to remember how Jewish ancestors and other kin have employed technologies of (Jewish) memory; such as sassy harmony to build power, irony to develop self critique, and beauty to hold hardship. There is so much expansive thought and acoustic creativity in this skhoyre, I will return to it endlessly for inspiration.

~Jenny Romaine
In the last number of years, some of the most exciting developments in Klezmer and Yiddish music have come from a crew of eclectic and diverse musicians, artists and culture creators in Seattle, Washington.  This sub-scene has a distinct flavor, sound, and idea of what this music can and will be.  As a product of the 1990s NYC wave of the Klezmer revival, it's very exciting and encouraging to follow such a vibrant cultural development from the opposite coast.  

One of my favorite emerging Yiddish music acts from the last few years is Brivele, a trio at the center of this new Seattle Klezmer wave.  Shortly before the world shut off I had the pleasure of sharing a concert bill with them in their hometown.  And they were really good. The term Power Trio is generally reserved for bands amplified at a much higher decibel level, but I'd argue Brivele is modern Yiddish Power Trio, whose hard-hitting, witty, dark and brutally honest songs hit just as hard, without blowing out the sound system.  

I just listened to their upcoming album, Cradle Songs, Grave Songs, straight through from beginning to end.  I recommend listening to it in its entirety, for as like their concert sets, Brivele's album is a journey of emotion. Before even reading the liner notes, I could feel that this was a pandemic album.  This past year the dark realities of life have at times brought us some of the most emotionally packed music and art, spanning all genres and disciplines. Cradle Songs, Grave Songs, deservingly fits this category.  

This is not to say that the record wallows in darkness.  Brivele's gift as a band is their ability to go between the dark and the light, the serious and the witty, all with a deep sense of tradition, and abandon of tradition.  In that way, they are the quintessential Klezmer Band (even if they would never describe themselves as such). Their group sound is undeniably unique, and their musical and lyrical story-telling is captivating.  

This album will get regular spins on the boom-box.  I'm excited for you all to hear it yourselves.  And I'm particularly looking forward to hearing Brivele perform the songs from Cradle Songs, Grave Songs live in concert as soon as possible.  

~ Michael Winograd, Brooklyn, 4/29/21

I remember exactly where I was when I first heard “Hunting Season” off of Brivele’s latest harmonically complex, wildly imaginative, future-building album, Cradle Songs, Grave Songs. Taking poet Aurora Levins Morales’s task of “imagine winning” to heart, this latest collection from Brivele sings the past out of the archive and into the streets to fight, to struggle, to laugh, to mourn.

I could not stop listening to this album once I started. I am belting the words out loud and I know these are songs that will have long lives and many voices singing them into memory. Yiddish and English are beautifully woven together throughout, each winking the other language into new meaning. 

As we are called to move beyond the present and breathe life into a new collective future, Brivele takes deep grief and explosive rage and tends to them, allowing them to grow roots. I love each excerpt and echo and thoughtfully chosen melody, and it’s amazing to see the depth of materials Brivele has pulled from in true folk punk fashion. Listening to Cradle Songs, Grave Songs is an experience in remembering and caring for the homes we carry in ourselves and within each other. Shkoyekh, Brivele, shkoyekh!

~Sadie “Zeydi” Gold-Shapiro, Yiddish raconteur, archival tinkerer, and 1/6 of Burikes

Thank you so much to everyone who has already pre-ordered an album. Your funds helped us pay various wonderful people to make the album at a much higher-production level than we otherwise could have! You should all get an email with your digital download as soon as we load up the songs (please let us know if you have any trouble accessing this). If you downloaded Zumertsayt in your preorder, make sure to update it when you get the full album; it is now mastered! If you ordered a physical copy too, those should go out in about a week.

We're also deeply grateful to:
  • Brian Lindsay and Ross Kirshenbaum for production assistance.
  • Faith Jones, Wendy Marcus, and Peter Lippman for translation assistance.
  • Amelia Glaser for sending us her book and encouraging us to think of these poems as songs.
  • Geoff Berner for invaluable feedback.
  • Sivan Slapak for facilitating our access to the Yiddish translation of “Bread and Roses.”
  • Jewish Voice for Peace for motivating us to write “In Dokh Zing Ikh.”
  • Sarah Shay for editing our liner notes.
  • KlezKanada for amazing opportunities to learn, connect, and conspire.
  • Anna for childcare.
  • Judith Kolokoff, z"l. Beulah Rollnick, z”l. RBG, z”l.

Oh yeah and stay tuned for an update on some SHOWS which are in the works, we'll know more very soon.

Daloy politzei,

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Brivele · 832 32nd Ave · Seattle, WA 98122 · USA

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