Sep 24 2015

PREMIERE: Lee Eller “What Would I Do”


We fell in love with Lee Eller‘s brand of lo-fi indie pop here at Cougar Microbes HQ from the minute we first heard “What Would I Do“. The track is an elegant yet moody slice of electro-pop that hints at great things to come from the young artist.

Born and raised as an only child in Manhattan you get the perception that Lee‘s childhood was somewhat unconventional. With no older siblings around to pass on new musical discoveries and so Lee was uncovering new sounds for herself and developing a diverse palette.

A chance visit to the Middle East saw her uproot her life and relocate to Tel Aviv beginning to mix with the local scene and explore new sounds. There are a couple of covers online form this period that, while a little rough around the edges, suggest a budding artist with growing confidence in her talent.

A few years on and Lee is completing the recording of her debut ‘Wrote To You‘ EP and we have been assured the rest of the tracks will be just as exciting. While we wait for the next single to drop we are happy to keep spinning the near pop perfection of “What Would I Do” on repeat.


Sep 11 2015

Noa May Interview

Noa May by Salit Krac

Noa May‘s music has a way of crawling into the back of your mind and staying there for months at a time. While her first single “Play Me” was a gloriously tense and moody affair it’s follow up “The War Is Over” represents the flipside of her talents; deceptively upbeat while discussing an issue that is clearly important to her. Both tracks were taken from her excellent debut album “New Born Beast” which was one of my biggest surprises in the past year.

While she is working on her follow up release we caught up with Noa to discuss PJ Harvey, her passion for Arak and bringing back Nina Simone:

Cougar Microbes: What time did you wake up today? Was it out of choice or necessity?

Noa May: I’m ashamed to say I woke up at 4pm today because I am still a little

jet lagged

CM: Describe your music to the uninitiated?

NM: I’m both passionate and neurotic with a dark sense of humour and I think this is reflected in my music. I guess the over all sound would be loosely named alternative but I’m not sure that label applies to everything I do.

CM: How have you been killing time on the road when on the, hobbies?

NM: On the road I seem to be unable to leave the “real” world behind and I binge on political commentators and economy sections. I do have a passion for Arak, an unsweetened anise-flavoured distilled alcoholic drink that is popular in the middle east.

CM: What have been your favourite venues to play? Any Venues you hated?

NM: I loved playing at the Radio EPGB in Tel Aviv, it has the perfect balance between chaos and intimacy and I can’t wait to return there later this year. Thankfully I haven’t had any bad experiences with venues yet, hopefully that won’t change.

CM: Is there a song you are simply sick of playing?

NM: Some of my older materials have gone through a ton of modifications for precisely this reason. I just think it’s a natural process every musician goes through, a certain point you just have to let go and move forward

CM: What is the songwriting process like for you. Are you able to write on the road or do you do this in your off time?

NM: Inspiration comes at very random times: in the shower or at dinner with my parents, just before falling asleep I’m often hit with a blast of ideas and I have to force myself to get up and write them down or they will be lost forever. Often these are my best materials so I don’t want to lose them

CM: Favourite track of yours and why?

NM: I have a special connection with my first single “Play Me” because it always brings me back to the first time I wrote it and also the first time I played it in front of an audience.

Noa May by Salit Krac

CM: If you could record any cover what would it be?

NM: I have already recorded a few covers including the Pixies and Gil Scott-Heron , I love paying tribute. Next, I would love to do a PJ Harvey track because I love and respect her so much but at the same time, now that I think of it, that may be really daunting! I adore her never ending creativity and would want to do it justice

CM: Do your songs go through many revisions via demo recordings?

NM: There isn’t too much tinkering once the track has a shape, even my vocal take are often the first ones. I love that initial rush and am wary of overdoing it so these early deliveries always strike me as the strongest

CM: What came first, the lyrics or the melody?What are your views on auto tune?

NM: Good question, its probably 50/50 for me. Recently i’ve been working with other musicians and I had the pleasure of focussing on the impact of my words much more.

CM: Any other band/bands from your local scene we really should know about?

NM: I recently heard a musician called Noga Erez and I find her so refreshing. She has some amazing songs

CM: Most flattering thing you’ve read about yourself?

NM: I loved getting featured by Tom Robinson of BBC 6 in his Fresh Faves batch. They said I write ” prettily-accented ditties, this one in particular hits the spot” which was very flattering.

CM: What was the first record/tape/cd you ever bought?

NM: It was ‘Nevermind’ by Nirvana. I was on vacation with my parents and we bought some cassette tapes for the journey. Instead we ended up listening to ‘Nevermind‘ on repeat.

CM: What was the last song that got stuck in your head?

NM: While answering these questions Alicia Keys’ New York track came on the radio and it’s been stuck in my head for the last hour, good timing.

CM: What was the last show you paid and queued up for?

NM: I saw both Julian Casablancas and Son Lux recently and both were inspiring in different ways. I wish I could have seen The Strokes in their prime but this was a decent replacement

CM: If you had to bring on artist back from the dead in exchange for sending a living artist down ,which artists would it be and why?

NM: I would definitely bring Nina Simone back in a blink, she still had so much to give and her presence in todays musical landscape is really missed. If you had to twist my arm I would take away Bieber, nothing against the kid but I’m sure even he would agree Nina‘s contribution is far more essential



Apr 19 2015

Weekend Video – Lara Snow – I Like Snow

Lara Snow introduces herself to the world with “We Are Animals“, her collaboration EP with producer $aFrA. The leadoff track “I Like Snow” is a raw blast of energy coming across like a collision between Grimes and Die Antwoord with a breakdown that would make Refused proud.

The singer has been honing her skills for the past few years working on her songwriting and production skills, collaborating with other people in her scene and setting up an electric live performance with drummer and regular collaborator Jonatan Harpak.

Now that everything is in place “I Like Snow” represents just the first step in a busy few months ahead for the white haired songstress.




Feb 7 2015

Weekend Videos: Lucille Crew – Big City

It may only be the beginning of February but the mighty Lucille Crew have released a contender for video of the year. With it’s irresitible horns and memorable call and answer refrain “Big City” is a firm favourite in the 9-piece behemoth’s live set and now has a worthy video to accompany it.

Lucille Crew return to Europe for shows this summer. The much awaited debut “Lucille Crew: 9 Lives” will officially be released in early 2015.



Oct 13 2014

Weekend Videos: NETA – “Silly Life”

Haunting vocals blend with an electronic downtempo rhythm in NETA’S single, “Silly Life”. A taste of his upcoming project, “Heroes in a Tale”, the song and its video reflect the depth of an artist at his ripest, delivering artistic, poetic and emotional maturity with a shot of irony. Pastel wallpaper is interrupted by the unmoving stare of eyes that have seen the world spin many times over. Sweet lyrics of forgiveness and freedom are contrasted by symbolism of human instinct at its rawest. “Silly Life” and its visual discussion of satiety give insight to a project that follows a hero starring in the tale of his own incredible musical life and spiritual journey.

NETA’s musical journey was sparked by one of the purest of relationships – childhood friendship. NETA grew up and later worked with musical icons Rami Fortis, and Berry Saharov. Together they toured Europe in the 80s and 90s, after which he settled in Amsterdam’s bustling music scene. Years of musical exploration soon lead to NETA’s first solo project. It was released five years ago under the pseudonym “The Alchemystique”, garnering critical appraise in addition to airtime on Israeli national TV and radio.

Several years of personal turmoil arose following his success, leading to hardship and quiet. Nevertheless, NETA chose to become the hero of his own tale, and soon he met his match. “I am usually the master of destruction. But this time, she destroyed me.” The woman who destroyed NETA is the woman responsible for his destruction and his emotional and musical rebirth. In interview, NETA has described his wife as the ultimate push, yet also the ultimate support for both his personal and artistic transformation manifested in his debut single video for “Silly Life”.

The album is a culmination of electronic elements with influence from a vast array of artists covering Bowie to Garbage, Zepplin to Jeff Beck, and Zero7 to Lana Del Rey – with everyone in between. Renowened Israeli producer Eyal Katzav has co-mixed and mastered the album, which also features brilliant drummer Boaz Wolf and phenomenal vocalist Doron Talmon.

“Heroes In A Tale” is due in November 2014, “Silly Life” is out now.


Post by Betty



Jul 21 2014

SKYROADS Release New Double A-side Single

skyroads band image

Fresh from their first ever UK tour, SKYROADS released their disco infused double A-side single “1,2 Steps/ Beyond The Doors” and it proves these boys and gal have a great future ahead of them.

The Tel Aviv based 5-piece channel the spirit of Nile Rodgers through the funk bass backbone of “Beyond The Doors” whilst twinkling synths give a fizzing zest to the dancy track.

1,2 Steps” begins with yet another irresistible bassline built upon with a great sense of restless urgency before the joyous chorus rids the band of all the angst allowing for a free flowing synth line to lead the line to yet more dancy disco infused musicianship. Both tracks are now available on the band’s soundcloud.

Make sure you catch them this autumn when they’ll be bringing their disco rock vibes to Europe and the States.  SKYROADS were born to play live and it won’t be long until we see them across  the biggest stages and festivals.


Post by Sam



Jun 2 2014

SXSW- Day 4 (Feat. Creepoid, Lion Babe, Kishi Bashi, Terry Poison, Holy Ghost! & Cut Copy)

SXSW Fans (

Cougar Microbes headed to Austin, TX to experience SXSW 2014 in all it’s glory. Over the course of 4 days we witnessed some phenomenal performances in venues all around town covering every genre and sub-genre imaginable. As we had anticipated in our festival preview piece some of the biggest highlights came from those artists we weren’t expecting.

This is how it went…

Creepoid SXSW

Creepoid – Sailor Jerry House
We set off with a hint of preemptive nostalgia knowing that this would be the last day but thanks to Creepoid’s alternative rock we were soon re energised. Taking inspiration from early 90’s hero such as the Pixies, Sonic Youth as well as the timeless My Bloody Valentine saw this Philadelphia four piece knock us off our feet with how loud they were playing . The individual members each appeared to be entranced by the sounds they were producing providing an electric live performance that bordered on an exorcism.

SXSW Lion Babe (

Lion Babe– Butler Park

With the weather having been wet and cold over the previous couple of days it was a welcome relief that our walk over to Butler Park was bathed in sunshine. This was ideal to sit in the grass and catch Lion Babe, whom we have been biggin up for a while, going about seducing a huge crowd. Jillian Hervey, flanked by by trusted producer Lucas Goodman, starts her performance offering complex yoga poses before beginning Indie Beyonce performance. The duo grow in confidence with every track with “Treat Me Like Fire” proving to be a sure fire hit. If the audience were possibly unaware of Lion Babe before they hit the stage they were definitely well aware after.

SXSW Kishi Bashi (

Kishi Bashi – Cheer Up Charlie’s

Cheer Up Charlie’s was full to the brim when Kishi Bashi hit the stage and it wasn’t just because of the venues fabled Golden Ticket drink. On paper elements of electronica, a banjo, rock n roll drums and a violin should not mix… but Kishi Bashi, formerly a member of Of Montreal, not only makes it work but creates some wonderful musical moments sounding like a euphoric Beirut. While it is clear the man is a violin virtuoso it’s Kishi Bashi’s warm vocals that won us and the packed crowd over leaving everyone hugely thankful to have witnessed this euphoric show

SXSW Terry Poison (

Terry Poison – Speakeasy

For Tel Aviv based Terry Poison this is a return to Austin and they seemed hungrier than ever. Their music has gone through a few variations over the years but this updated lean lineup seems meaner than ever. With their apocalyptic electro-pop finely paced for this kind of performance frontwoman Louise oozed confidence as she danced around in a floral one piece without missing a note. At one point she climbed up on to one of the dinner tables which seems like the signal for several phones to pop out to immortalise the act. Guitarist/Keyboardist Anna seemed entranced by the show dropping calculated notes and provided a perfect vocal foil to Louise while bassist Bruno was coolness personified keeping the band fine tuned throughout. A superb cover of Lana Del Rey’s ”Blue Jeans” was possibly only surpassed by their own brilliant single “Gorgeous” which saw the room explode in unison.

SXSW Holy Ghost (

Holy Ghost – Samsung Presents @ Milk Music Box

Holy Ghost! stage set up was awe inspiring and that was before a single note was played. With a backdrop of electronics and instruments the normally spacious stage at Milk Music Box seemed absolutely crowded. The 6 people on stage where each kitted out with their own synth keyboard and each ready to deliver their excellent post-dance racket. Credit has to go out to key members Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel who like the instruments around them were positively electric. Frankel was especially lively alternating between crooning, drumming enthusiastically and hitting keys multiple times delivering the ultimate performance. . With so much energy on display the venues floor was rightfully shaking.


Cut Copy -Samsung Presents @ Milk Music Box

As endings go few could have been more spectacular than catching Australian dance outfit Cut Copy at their euphoric best. This show was an authentic revelation with new and old gems peppering the set to scintillating results. The bands jaw dropping performance was as powerful as anything I’d ever seen. Guitarist Tim Hoey deserved particular praise bringing to mind a certain Jonny Greenwood with his introvert/extrovert delivery regardless of whether he was assaulting his guitar, accurately beating a synth or simply offering a solo from deep within the crowd.

Frontman Dan Whitford could be justified for feeling euphoric while overseeing the thing that he had started as a bedroom project soaring through the speakers. As the band’s mantra and recent album title ‘Free Your Mind’ flashed on the neon screens behind the 4 piece the audience took this to heart and participated in the best rave to happen in the entire country tonight.

This concludes our SXSW coverage for 2014 but we can’t wait to be back in 2015. Austin has once again offered the most fun and fulfilling festival experience we have been exposed to and we were delighted to be a part of it. Keep Austin weird!


Jul 14 2013

Weekend Videos: Adi Ulmanksy – “Gurl Powa”

Adi Ulmansky is a veritable burst of fresh color both in a literal sense- her bright hair tones and manga inspired fashion are unmissable- as well with her scatty 8-bit mini epics.

Hot on the heels of a series of well received mixtapes and EPs the Israeli singer/producer is gearing up to release her ‘Hurricane Girl‘ EP later this month with new single “Girl Powa“, from her last EP. 

Clocking in at just over 1.40 the track is an infectious mix of apocalyptic samples and machine gun saccharine vocals guaranteed to get you out of your seat.

Adi is set to play the Tune In Tel-Aviv conference next week and we look forward to catching some fresh new material from the multifaceted rising star

Hurricane Girl‘ is due out on the 29th of July.