New album forshpil:tsvey is out now at



Dark Yiddish love songs from a parallel world!


New music video for oy dortn dortn - an old Yiddish ballad about long-distance relationships


Watch the official album launch event co-presented with Yiddish Summer Weimar on Sunday August 30 




dark yiddish love songs from a parallel world 

Dark and obscure women's a capella love songs from the turn of the 20th Century resurface once again in a parallel universe - an imaginary world where secular Yiddish-speaking youth of the mid-20th Century re-discover their Jewish roots by playing their grandparents’ folk music in their garage bands. In this world, Yiddish language and culture transcend nostalgia, vaudeville theater and ultra-orthodox Judaism. Here, Yiddish-speaking women are free to sing, speak and flaunt their hair in public. 


In a real tribute to this fictional universe, forshpil takes this music to an even higher plane. These meditative modal folk songs, while over a hundred years old, tell the universal stories of love, jealousy, war, heartbreak, adultery, parental pressure, death, and long-distance relationships. Combined with the raw energy of klezmer-inspired accompaniment, played on traditional rock instruments, they create a new sonic realm, full of sadness, hope and trippy stereo effects. 


Forshpil was founded over 15 years ago in Riga, Latvia by charismatic singer Sasha Lurje and multi-instrumentalist Ilya Shneyveys. Together with violinist Mitia Khramtsov, guitarist Roman Shinder and drummer Zheka Lizin (all from St. Petersburg, Russia), they continue to research, perform and teach traditional Yiddish and East-European culture, discovering rare songs in old manuscripts and field recordings. However, this is neither an ethnographic nor a nostalgic album. Forshpil:tsvey is a meditation on tradition inspired by the contemporary. It is the musicians’ personal journey in search of their own Jewish roots and values. It is a trip to a parallel world. 


released August 7, 2020 


forshpil is: 

Sasha Lurje - voice 

Ilya Shneyveys - arrangement, production, Hammond Organ, synth bass (3-6, 9-10), electric bass (1-2, 7-8), guitars (7-8), banjo uke (8), glockenspiel (8), glass marimba (8), flutes (8), drum machine (9), voice (10) 

Mitia Khramtsov - electric violin 

Roman Shinder - electric guitar 

Zheka Lizin - drums 


Featuring 'the horns of Dobranotch' (10): 

Ilya Gindin - clarinet, alto sax 

Max Karpychev - tenor sax 

Grisha Spiridonov - trombone 

Alexey Stepanov - tuba 


All songs traditional, arranged by Ilya Shneyveys and forshpil 


Recorded in Berlin (Guy Sternberg @ LowSwing Studios), New York (Jim Bertini @ JB Sounds), Riga (Sergey Laletin @ SoundDivision Studios) and St. Petersburg (Sergey Shpul @ spulmix ru) 2015-2019 

Mastering by Don Godwin @ Tonal Park Studios 2020