Israeli singer makes Blinken’s top song list for 2021

Keren Peles’ “Different Days” is featured on the 36 songs the American Secretary of State recommended to his followers on New Year’s eve.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

An Israeli singer made it into Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s top song list for 2021 on New Year’s eve.

“Music brings people together–it transcends borders and everything else that might otherwise divide us,” America’s top diplomat tweeted December 31 to his million followers. “As we close 2021, I’m sharing some of my favorite songs released this year (or recently), by artists around the world. Hope you enjoy as much as I have.”

The Secretary included a link to the playlist of 36 tracks on Spotify, which featured among other artists Keren Peles’ song in Hebrew, Yamim Acheirim (Different Days). The gentle song talks about pushing through the uncertainty, loneliness and hopelessness that has gripped the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, without mentioning it by name. Through the fear, she sings, “we found strength to be together, fragile, going step by step through the sea of despair to different days.”

Peles was very happy to hear the “joyous and pretty amazing” news of Blinken’s choice from Channel 12 reporter Gil Mishali she said Monday.

“I can only welcome the connection and closeness without borders that music affords us,” she continued, “and even more so now in a world of quarantines and traffic-lights [by which locales are ranked by their infection rates]. I wish for different days, ones that are good for all of us in the coming year.”

In a previous interview, the 42-year-old singer-songwriter said that the inspiration for the song had come after she had had to be hospitalized for a month, “flat on my back, unable to lift my head,” when her body “had declared war” on her. It was unclear what caused her illness.

Peles broke into Israel’s music scene in 2006, when her debut album of original works went gold (20,000 copies sold), and she was named the country’s singer of the year. She repeated the double achievement in 2008. She also writes songs for other Israeli performers.

Blinken picked songs by many foreign language artists for his playlist besides Peles, including those who sang in Pashto, Hindi, Uzbek and Arabic.