Official videos by Zulu Winter is something we’ve been lacking this year, even though this new one for “Key To My Heart” makes it number three, I’m ganting on a video for every track by year’s-end.
Hey Zulu Winter, hook a brother up, eh? “Key To My Heart” is taken from the band’s debut album Language which is out now, and worth your time.
Secluded for the better part of the last year, the London quintet, Zulu Winter, wrote and recorded their debut album, with little to no wrap up, outside two tremendously popular singles, “Never Leave” and “Let’s Move Back to Front”, followed by “We Should Be Swimming”. They received the typical accolades that incur dozens of comparisons to contemporaries, some more warranted than others. With a list of influences and references as distinct as Armenian director Sergei Parajanov and Alice Coltrane, it’s hard to know what to make of the final product, Language. Frontman Will Daunt leads the band with his falsetto vocals and penchant for xylophones, albeit with little innovation, continuing the argument that Zulu Winter might not be completely living up to their potential.
Claimed as the umpteenth “new Vaccines”, it’s natural for the hype machine to go on overdrive with Zulu Winter, especially when nearly every blog reviews and artist’s first work, even if it’s only been months since their formation. Going on small tour with similar acts Clock Opera and Outfit, then venturing to America at the early part of this year, they kept their album completely under wraps outside of the few tracks they played on the road. Opening for the massively popular band Keane, they opened themselves up to comparisons won’t stop anytime soon. The restrictive nature of being a “buzz band” seemingly took its toll, and the pressure to continue on their current route was overwhelming, but the music still contains a certain appeal, even if it’s to an audience of mainstream pop fans.
The opener, “Key To My Heart” starts off with Afrobeat percussion and droning field recordings, alluding to a grandiose spirit that never quite arrives. Not a bad song, but the song never evolves into what it promised. “We Should Be Swimming” is a great step up, with throbbing bass that could be played on any dance floor on both sides of the Atlantic, but again it doesn’t live up to expectations. The songs that follow (“Bitter Moon” through “Silver Tongue”) continue on the same vein. The first single “Let’s Move Back to Front”, provides something different. It has a strong Morrissey influence; there’s no other way to describe such macabre lyrics delivered in such a delighted manner.
I suppose I’m mostly baffled at the lack of experimentation, the likes of which they had alluded to in interviews and articles I’ve read over the past few months. Despite the various mixtapes they posted to their blog or the mentions of musical influences such as Bradford Cox, the crisp, detailed, run-of-the-mill nature of their production proved much to the contrary. While I enjoyed most of the album, I couldn’t differentiate where the aforementioned influences started and where the lofty contemporary sound ended. From the heap of sound, the best comparison I can draw is to English indie rock band Wild Beasts, but again, this band’s biggest detriment is their lack of identity; I can only draw comparisons and cite obvious influences.
While the record has its various flaws, and I have my various reservations, Zulu Winter have assembled a well-crafted first effort. It’s easy to take offense at failure to deliver on their promises and ambitions, especially with a band whose reputation precedes them so much as Zulu Winter, but despite its various shortcomings Language has an underlining groundwork for something more inspired.
Listen to Zulu Winter’s debut album “Language” below.
You know that we love Zulu Winter here, right? I mean you only have to click that link there where their name is to see how often we’ve written about them. You could call us fanboys, but that might be a bit harsh.
Regardless, their debut album “Language” is one that we’ve been waiting
patiently for since it was announced and today the day has come for us to get our filthy, drooling, gnashing teeth stuck into it. Two of the best songs of last year, “Let’s Move Back To Front” and “Never Leave” will finally get a release this year, on what’s sure to be one of the best albums of the year.
The band’s mix of gorgeous and sultry vocals with faint smatterings of synths layered above and beneath rolling drums intricate guitars, has warmed the cockles (cockles). I walked past these guys in the convention center at SXSW (you can watch a performance of them at SXSW below) and I must say, they’re almost all very tall….or I’m smaller than I thought.
“Language” is released this week in Australia, and May 14th/22nd in the U.K. and U.S. respectively, and via The Music you can listen to the whole thing below.
Listen to Zulu Winter’s new song “Silver Tongue” below, taken from their debut album “Language”.
The time to revel in the beauty of Zulu Winter’s much-anticipated debut album “Language” is almost upon us, with the release date set in stone for May 14th/15th.
We’ve been waxing lyrical about the band since we discovered them last Summer when they put out a 7” single for “Never Leave” on Double Denim, then subsequently fell in love when their Black Cab Session in October.
Since then we’ve seen videos and heard more fantastic songs like “We Should Be Swimming”, as well as included them on our Ones To Watch for 2012, but now we have their brand new single “Silver Tongue” which will likely be the last new music we’ll hear from them until the album drops proper.