I was first introduced to Zigtebra at the CHIRP Record Fair a few years back. As one does when overwhelmed by vinyl, I was bouncing around tables, wide-eyed, as one of the vendors asked me what I was looking for.
“Try this one.”
Despite a nebulous description of the genres I dug, the all-knowing hipster recommended something wonderful. He slid a cassette towards me – The Pink Line. It was incredible, but it wasn’t until October of 2014 that I could hear new material.
The opening track, “Bay Bay”, came highly recommended, and it was quickly evident why. It begins with bubbly synth, and as the male/female harmonies made their appearance, it called to mind Postal Service. The album opens with this incredibly light and fun track.
Electric guitar ushers in “Right Here”. The song starts off with a dark tone but quickly turns into a lush, wonderfully produced track.
Admittedly one of my favorite tracks sits near the middle of this album. Composed of layers of vocals and onomatopoeias is “Say Ah! (Make a Joyful Noise)”. It’s a minimal, tribal-influenced jaunt, and I can say from experience that watching it build live is incredibly rewarding.
All the joyful noises seem to recede for the latter half of the album. Just like “the night was dark”, so is the tone of “Monsters”. The album seems to have taken an introspective turn, addressing themes of loneliness and solitude. “Another night at home, another night on my own”, Tiger sings in “Catch Me”. Emily joins in shortly giving the minimal guitar and percussion an even more desolate feel.
“It’s Over” begins with a sticatto’d, robotic delivery, contrasted by the atmospheric synth and bass lines that are later introduced. This song, unexpectedly, moves into a definite groove as it progresses. Your hands might clap, your head might bob, and the only advice I can offer is to give in.
The Brave closes with an acoustic piece, “Tonight We’re Alive”. This song serves as a reminder to have an awesome time, right now. So – what are you doing sitting at a computer?
Each song takes uncomplicated instrumentation and combines with it catchy melodies and resonant vocals. The album in-and-of itself is a breath of fresh air, a reminder that not all music has to be balls-to-the-walls garage punk. As you can see by Zigtebra’s The Brave, it can be a little more thoughtful and deliberate, and exponentially more engaging.