Alternative dream pop
The best way to describe Zola Blood is if a dream-pop album rock songs that you’d ordinarily hear in the indie rock genre. The keyboards play as many riffs as the guitars would do. The drums are just as triumphant, the bass as slick and gutsy. The vocals are definitely in that indie-pop realm too. ‘Two Hearts’ is the bands’ new EP that continues to embrace this movement for what should be a collective of cult classics.
The title track opens the EP with a should-be radio hit. It is smooth and heavy with groove. I love the juxtaposition between the driving rhythm of the instruments and the sad falsetto vocals that drift over the top. It reminds me of one of my favourite bands of the past five years, Clock Opera, and Zola Blood fit into the same vein. It sets up the EP perfectly.
‘Silver Soul’ merges together a fidgety percussive loop with empty rubbery synth pads that makes the track feel schizophrenic. As the track progresses, the track fills out into a collage of synths and buzzes in a beautiful way that makes the track feel like it grew over time. ‘Only You’ is another single smash in waiting. The track harks back to the likes of SOHN. It uses clever synth runs that make bombastic verses and then simple choruses, it subverts your expectations whilst being catchy as hell. There is also more than a little synthwave love going on here too. ‘Out of Time’ ends the EP with a hazy downbeat darker track that I thoroughly enjoyed. It has an unusual goth-steampunk grit to it that I associate with gothtronica. The song is a great reminder that outside of slightly sad anthems, Zola Blood can also do dark and broody with ease.
‘Two Hearts’ is yet another reminder of how great Zola Blood are at their alternative dream pop. Each song is catchy, deep, beautifully produced and has layers and layers of sounds to discover. There is a pop sheen over the top of it all but that doesn’t diminish the music – it just gives Zola Blood their unique identity. They make pop… rock.
Recommended track: Two Hearts
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