Zeequil – Here
‘Rise Up’ starts things off with a strong world music beat and rhythm, as fragments of glacial melody begins to drift into the mix.
Lizzie Bradley’s voice soon enters the fray, painting her broad vocal brush stokes over the sonic canvas in a way that is reflective and provocative. ‘For Your Love’ is more spluttering and liquid sounding, with its ripples of crunchy tone that lays a distinctive foundation, while the beats tap away like a stripped down industrial background. As a track, it is insistent and one that demands the attention of the listener to lean in closer to discover what lies beneath. Heading in an altogether eerier direction, ‘Now You’re Mine’ sets up a curiously wavering landscape that allows for Lizzie’s voice to drift back and forth over, the refrain of “Now you’re mine” having a vaguely unsettling feel, as though singing a hypnotic ballad that has entranced an unwitting stranger. ‘Right Here’ shifts back into more of the powerful and insistent sound that has previously been displayed, this time with guitars in the mix that add a latin flavour to the sound which brings some chilled out vibes to the proceedings, while ‘Spin Round’ puts some jazz funk into things. It’s this genre bending that makes Zeequil’s work so distinctive and fascinating. The blending of styles and moving back and forth from various sounds and tempos makes the music entirely engaging, while at the same time it manages to retain a sense of aesthetic consistency. And while it has to be said I’m not personally a fan of that MIDI drum sound, it does seem to work here in terms of how Zeequil’s tone has been carefully crafted. On tracks like ‘Soul Memory’, the eerie, creepy vibe stands out so strongly it’s enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up – and yet, when the clink-clonk of the bossa nova beat comes in and you hear the digital sounds with their 8 bit artefacts, it changes yet again. There are, it has to be said, several moments on Here that the experimental side of Zeequil comes to the surface and the music wanders one hundred per cent into avant garde territory. ‘Hip 2 Hip’ pulls no punches with its expressive beat that has just the right about of bite to it, contrasting with the smooth and smouldering vocals, while ‘Waiting’s Over’ shuffles along with its opening chord swells that hint ever so slightly at the Chariots Of Fire theme. ‘Into View’ keeps the world beat going with no sign of letting up, sounding about as African as it can. The track itself is perfectly titled, as it feels as though it is revealing itself piece by piece through incremental addition. Here finds itself drawing to its conclusion with the final track ‘Outside In’, with more chord swells and excited hi-hats, while Lizzie’s vocal continues to do its thing, soaring over the music and often seeming to command the instrumentation by her voice alone, and bringing things ever so gently towards its completion.
Get Here on Bandcamp