The first is the new Yehuda Green album, Yearning. I was only turned on to Green a few weeks ago, when I was preparing for my Ann Arbor library Jewish Music talk. I was going to spend some time during the talk discussing the Orthodox / Chassidic music scene and was looking for a good example of the neo-Carlebach sound. While there are a number of musicians who qualify, Green is one of the standouts and I played a clip of his music during the talk. I found it very moving and decided to grab the album.
To give you a sense of what Green's about, here's a video of Green recorded for the Vos Iz Neias website. For more on Green, you can check out a 30 minute interview he gave recently to VIN.
The second album is from Lipa Schmeltzer, one of my favorite Chassidic shiny-shoe singers. Lipa is about as funky and out-there a musician as I've run across. I had his previous album, Poshiter Yid, on heavy rotation when I first got it (and have his bumper sticker on my car.) This year he's coming out with his own Pesach haggadah and accompanying album. I'm honestly not sure what to expect. The video below, which is supposed to be a promo, doesn't really help much. An album of new Pesach songs? Traditional songs? Him narrating a seder? Not sure. But it's bound to be fun. I'm always on the lookout for new Pesech music, so I'll pick it up. It can be found over at Mostly Music.