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Carrboro, North Carolina, United States | SELF

Carrboro, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter




"Short take on "Orly" -2011"

Boston-based duo Orly's self-titled album is a sparse, beautiful offering from Israel natives Orly and Yagel. The CD opens with "My oh My", a ballad that begins with a solo acoustic guitar (played by Yagel) moving delicately through a haunting arpeggio. The guitar is joined by Orly's voice, a gentle heart-wrenching alto that pulls the listener into the song. By the time the chorus rolls around and the sparse arrangement expands with the addition of string swells and light percussion, the song has got its hooks in and you're a helpless, grateful passenger. After that, the album only gets better. The second track, "Boy on a Hill" snagged Orly first prize in the folk category of the USA Songwriting Competition, and it's easy to see why. "Options" lightens the mood at just the right moment with an easy shuffle that shows off Orly's versatility, and features a fantastically unexpected horn break. Orly has one of those rare voices that can croon the line "You, only you, you mean everything, yes you do" and leave the listener doe-eyed, believing she's the first singer who's ever expressed the sentiment. The remainder of the CD carries you from ballad gem to ballad gem, and the only reasonable criticism would be that the voyage ends too soon. - Jared Fiske - Minor7th

"CD REVIEW: Orly Forman and Yagel Sulchiner - Orly"

Orly and Yagel fit together like a hand in glove...Above all both they are in prefect musical harmony with the another in a deep way...Forman possesses a unique and infectious vocal persona that is both mystifying and infectious... Her falsetto is to die and her vocal emotions are gripping. This band handles all the pin drop moments extremely well. The songwriting is brilliant and provides a lot of musical variety and emotions. I can honestly say I was entertained the entire time, with never a dull moment to be found..." - (Cyrus Rhodes from MUSESMUSE)

"Orly - Album review"

Orly, Orly

February 23, 2012 | by Skope
Orly is an indie/folk/acoustic duo from Somerville, Massachusetts. Made up of vocalist/guitarist Orly Forman and guitarist Yagel Sulchiner, the couple fell in love, travelled the East Coast of the United States sharing their music, and recently took home 1st prize at the U.S.A songwriting
competition in the folk category for their song “Boy on a Hill”. Their full-length debut album is self-titled, and as a fan of good folk and acoustic music myself, I’m looking forward to a listen. “My Oh My” is our opening track, and things look good. The sparse guitar is appropriate for the surprising and beautiful fragility of Orly Forman’s vocal delivery. The lyrics deal with grieving, leaving the past behind, and the ever-changing nature of life. Orly and Yagel show their keen sense of dynamics by adding a fretless bass in the second verse to raise the vibration, only to once again raise it to the sky with a string section, cymbals, and the desperate lines “You, only you, you mean everything, yes you do”,
which pulls at the heartstrings like Beth Gibbon’s broken vocal style. Out of the abyss, a fast-paced Americana breakdown emerges and Orly Forman lets loose as the drums kick in. This is a stellar track.
“Boy on a Hill” is stunning from the opening note, and it sounds like a
song that would have been passed down through generations, a classic folk song with a Celtic flavor. This is a song about freedom and possibility, and I have no doubt now that Orly’s win in the U.S.A songwriting competition was not only deserved, but by a wide margin. This has the same beauty that the Page & Plant material has; ethereal, mysterious and boundless. “Options” is more playful and catchy, adding a touch of country over lazy guitars and a swinging rhythm. The horn section solo is brilliant; a piece of music that makes you want to walk through the street smiling and shaking hands with everyone you come across.
“Where Did It All Go” takes a break from the dreaming for a period of
distrust and disillusionment. Orly Forman’s vocal harmonies on the chorus show serious versatility and beauty, and Yagel Sulchiner’s playing is fantastic. The song doesn’t quite hold the power and sense of wonder that the opening two tracks do, but it’s still quite good, and simply meant to express a different side of the coin. Other standout tracks on Orly’s self-titled debut are the intensely beautiful “You Were My Sun”, where the mood is heavy and the emotion is raw. The
fact that some of Orly’s music reminds me of the Cranberries is a good
thing and it speaks to the strength of their songwriting. “Waiting” is a
playful highlight particularly for the light-at-heart, or for those who need a fresh perspective, while “The Earth” is an appropriate end to the journey, with the refrain “Well all go back to Earth”. The pianos and guitars are stunning and the mood is peaceful and accepting. Both Orly Forman and Yagel Sulchiner prove themselves as excellent musicians and songwriters on “Orly”, and go well beyond expectations. The
production and choice of instruments and arrangements show both knowledge and great care. “Orly” is an excellent debut in which all of the tracks are at least very good, and some of them border on masterpiece territory. I would expect the name to spread fast in folk and acoustic circles

- Skope Magazine

"Album Review - Orly"


With first place prize in the folk category of the USA Songwriting Competition, and a showcase at this year’s South By Southwest, Boston based acoustic duo Orly, has certainly been making their mark. Released in August of 2011, their self-titled debut album reveals what all the fuss is about.
This isn’t an album to skip or skim through. “My Oh My” is proof of that. This is a multi-dimensional song, full of dynamics, including tempo changes. What a strong starter for a folk album. It immediately raised my expectations.
The song is followed by the cinematic and emotional “Boy on a hill”, and then “Options”, a short and quirky tune that surprised me with a horn section towards the end. Very nice touch. It’s just another example of the duo’s musical depth and repertoire.
In terms of length, the album still feels like a full-length rather than an EP, weighing in at only nine songs. But they are nine very good songs. No fillers here, so I can’t knock points off for its brevity, though I do wish it were longer.
I always give the disclaimer when reviewing a folk album, that I’m a self-proclaimed sucker for singer-songwriter music. But being such, I can easily spot the difference between good and great. And maybe it’s premature of me to say, but Orly has crossed over the threshold into greatness. They are uncompromising artists, creating a musical world, listeners will find hard to escape from.
Whether it’s the offbeat drums and jazz-like bass playing in “Where did it all go”, the eerie piano of “The Earth”, or simply the lead singer’s beautiful and haunting voice seducing you to listen to more and more, Orly’s self-titled debut is a hit. Again, a little on the short side, but I highly recommend it. Fans of Feist, Angus and Julia Stone, Iron and Wine, and The xx will have another band to add to their playlist. - Carlito - musicemissions.com

"Critique of our winning song "Boy On A Hill""

Critique of our winning song "Boy On A Hill", by some of the judges on U.S.A. Songwriting Competition:

"Very powerful intro - Fantastic vocalist and vocal performance right off the bat..."

"Vocal melody is great and makes it especially memorable... Strings are tasteful and absolutely essential to keeping the song interesting, very exciting..."

"Beautiful! Chill-inducing.."

"By far the best song I've ever judged in years!" - USA Songwriting Competition

"Orly & Yagel’s “My Oh My”"

We first met this dynamic and charming duo back in October, and we’re pretty psyched that have seen fit to shoot another track over. They are playing Saturday afternoon up at the Brew’d Awakening Coffeehaus up in Lowell. I know it’s only Monday, but it’s never too late to start thinking about Saturday. Unless it’s Sunday, then you’re just torturing yourself.

Duos (or duos plus-cats) present unique listening opportunities, regarding musical chemistry. The writing and the performance can take on different tones with a 1-2 dynamic versus a group dynamic or solo artist. Orly and Yagel make more then two-peoples’ worth of sound in “My Oh My,” but they retain their up-close-and-personal dynamic. “My Oh My” tumbles through its paces, bouncing off obstacles like a superball somehow injected with a high level of potential energy.

The two main points of reference in this track are the vocal and the guitar. These two elements see each other through the song from start to finish, in the face of sporadic synth pads and a linear, not-so-repetitive tempo. While the arrivals and departures of these side-elements bring different senses of atmosphere to the track, the way the vocals and guitar weather these tiny storms is what gives “My Oh My” its sense of self.

“My Oh My” is a trip, running the gamut from almost frantic to slowly plaintive. While the refrain, well, refrains, “My Oh My” is a straight, non-repeating narrative line. The mournful chorus is sort of the song’s compositional figurehead, standing out on its own and giving the listener something to remember when the track has ceased.The song’s dynamic is its heart, and it spins tirelessly during the run time of “My Oh My.” - C.D. On Songs | by C.D. Di Guardia

"Orly & Yagel’s “Options”"

Orly & Yagel’s “Options” captures that easy-going essence in style, presenting the listener with a go-with-the-flow attitude that is as infectious as it is carefree sounding. This track sort of lopes along the road at its own pace, lending out a hand for anyone to join for however long. This song takes ‘er easy via its mix of reassuring rhythm and the calm sunshine of the vocal melody.

The vocals do keep “Options” open; Orly Forman has a pleasant voice; as if she sings every line through a shy half-smile. Her voice is reminiscent of Zooey Deschanel’s, in that it is timeless-sound. You hear her sing, and you forget what year it is. The arrangement doesn’t help with this temporal displacement – it sounds like Burt Bacharach is situated somewhere nearby, grinning effervescently, despite the fact that raindrops might keep fallin’ on his head. This track dances through the raindrops – not between them. “Options” somehow manages to sound very, very satisfied with itself, without ever seeming smug.

The entire arrangement manages to sound like it came from somewhere old timey, yet right around the block. Like somewhere, women in fancy gowns are still singing into bullet-head microphones in front of tiered horn sections. But that somewhere doesn’t sound as if it is too far away, either – Orly & Yagel are definitely children of the modern world. They just have this particular essence about them – “easy listening” has such a stigma to it, yet it is very, very easy to listen to “Options".

We suspect that this record – if it is anything like this song – will make the entire world a lot less anxious.

- C.D. On Songs | by C.D. Di Guardia


"Orly" - released September 2011

The single from this album, "Boy On A Hill", won 1st prize in the folk category on the 2011 U.S.A. Songwriting Competition!!!



Before the music, there was a love story...

When Orly first met Yagel, she could tell that he was into music, for he was always drumming away with his hands on the table.

She was immediately drawn to him because of his good looks and charm, and felt comfortable with him, and so before she left, she handed him her demo CD.

“I couldn’t wait to get home and listen to it,” remembers Yagel. “And when I heard her soft voice and songs which seemed so open and honest, I fell in love.”

The couple soon discovered that they shared a love for songwriting, and that they worked well together. They left their jobs, bought an old van, and began a road trip along the East Coast of the U.S., feeling free, spending a lot of time out in nature, and writing music as they traveled. Their individual dreams merged into one.

“There was no clear plan or destination on this trip. We just kept heading south, and for several months, drove in the day and camped out at night. It was a different kind of existence, and we felt suspended in time.” --Orly

“One morning we woke up to find our van surrounded by deer. Being out in nature made us feel calm. We met people whose stories were so different from ours, and from our conversations with these strangers came new ideas for songs." –Yagel

“Sometimes we wanted to express our feelings and innermost thoughts, and other times we simply wanted to tell a story.” --Orly

A number of songs were composed on the road. Often Yagel would start a random riff on the guitar, and Orly would continue it, taking it in a different direction. Eventually the two parts would find their way back together again and fuse into a joint creation. By the end of the trip, the songwriters realized that the next step was to record. They weren’t sure what the future held, but believed in their music and wanted to share it with others.

In the winter of 2011, with the help of producer Gabe Herman, Orly and Yagel recorded their first E.P. at the Powerstation in New England. It snowed the entire three days that they were there, and as they watched the world turn white from the studio windows, they felt they were in a cozy world of their own.

“During those magical days, we felt that the recording captured not only the sound of our music, but also the essence of our relationship and our journey together.” --Orly

and more individual bios:


Orly Forman, contemporary Israeli-American singer, song-writer, vocalist, guitarist and piano player…

Orly was born in Washington D.C., but raised in Israel along with her 3 older sisters in a home that was always filled with music of all genres. Her father had an unbelievable record and tape collection, and listened to everything imaginable… old ballads, Elvis Presley, rock- ‘n-‘roll, folksongs of the 60’s, show tunes, jazz, rock, classical… you name it.

She grew up with melodies in her ears and harmonies in her head, developing a love for music that grew stronger and stronger.

Orly started to play piano at a very young age; then took up the guitar. She started writing songs as a teenager, and performed in her hometown, Jerusalem, as well as in Tel Aviv, receiving acclaim for her distinctive sound. Her voice is full of seeming contradictions; it is soft, yet strong; delicate yet powerful.

Orly's songs are original, honest, and full of passion. They share with us the highs of love, the pain of loss, the feelings of regret and self-doubt.

Orly's voice and spirit captivated Yagel's heart, and they started to work together, sharing and collaborating on new songs.


Yagel Sulchiner was born and raised in Israel, a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

He first became interested in music as a child when his older brother brought home a set of drums. Yagel was mesmerized by it, and would sneak in to hear him practice. Before long he too, learned how to drum and developed a style of his own, influenced by the rock drummers of the last two decades.

Since he had enjoyed writing short stories and rhymes as a child, it seemed natural that Yagel would pick up the guitar and turn to songwriting. By the age of 16 , he had a classical acoustic guitar and for several years he played drums with two local rock bands that performed around the country.

Band Members