For me, the words “Cobra Starship” evoke powerful memories.
The aforementioned dance-pop band was at the height of its popularity in the early 2010s — just as I entered seventh grade, started attending school dances and began preparing for my bat mitzvah. As I listen to the opening notes of Cobra Starship’s top hit “Good Girls Go Bad” featuring Leighton Meester, I’m reminded of the pungent scent of my middle school gym packed with sweaty tweens, some drowning in Axe body spray, grinding against each other. Cobra Starship’s other popular song, “Hot Mess,” conjures the feeling of my Fanta Orange-colored iPod Nano’s click-wheel as I toggled between music and MP3 files of my chanted Torah portion on the way to bat mitzvah lessons.
As Cobra Starship officially disbanded in 2015, I hadn’t thought about the group in awhile. But in what I’m chalking up to the most nostalgic Hanukkah miracle ever, they’re back with some extremely Jewish content.
Alongside Hanukkah, Cobra Starship is also celebrating “Cobrakkah,” wherein they count down the holiday’s eight nights with giveaways, behind-the-scenes content and multiple new songs — including “Party With Jews,” an absolute bop which parodies one of their forthcoming tracks, “Party With You.”
Now, I’m no music critic, but I love “Party With Jews.” Not only does it successfully retain all the light-heartedness and dance-ability of Cobra’s discography, but it also features extremely relatable lyrics like “When Christmastime’s all around us / And Santa won’t visit me. / No, I don’t let it get me down, love. / I jam with sons of Abraham, don’t need no Christmas tree. / I want to party with Jews.”
I think I can speak for most Jews when I say: I’ll drink l’chaim to that!
The concept for “Party With Jews” undoubtedly comes from Cobra Starship’s Jewish frontman Gabe Saporta. Saporta was born in Montevideo, Uruguay to a multicultural Jewish family. His father’s side is Spanish Sephardi and his mother’s is from Austria; Gabe’s grandparents and great-grandparents fled Europe during World War II and settled in Uruguay before Gabe’s family moved to the United States in the 1980s.
“I wanted to make a Hanukkah classic like Adam Sandler did, but I wanted one that could bump in the clubs… or at bar mitzvahs,” Saporta wrote in an Instagram post. “Also I wanted to highlight one of the best parts of Jewish culture: raging.”
Thanks to Gabe and Cobra Starship, I for one will absolutely be raging all eight nights to “Party With Jews.” And if you’re looking for unique, non-Christmas adjacent Hanukkah music this year, I suggest you do the same.