The NYC-based group Zula is getting ready to unveil their newest full length album, New Years, late next month. In preparation, they've decided to give us a tasty sneak peek with a pre-released track by the same name. As a psychedelic pop band with a robust East Coast following, they're known for their expert coordination and jerky song structures. They love to subvert, surprise, and seduce. And "New Years" is no different.
Grasshopper, their last full length album, put them on the map with its ambitious and exhilarating rejection of conventions. Tracks like "F**k This" conjure comparisons to Yeasayer and Animal Collective. Every moment proliferates with anticipation - you never know what trick they're going to pull from up their sleeve.
This new pre-released track seems to keep with that tradition. Albeit a bit more subdued, the group's inclination to abruptly change tempo still abounds. We initially ease into the atmosphere of some beachy beer-sipping with friends before there's a sharp turn to anxious arpeggiating. Are we ok? Was it all a dream? Just kidding—we're back to the sand dunes. The soft vocal harmonies feel like a back rub and pointy guitar riffs swerve in front of us as if the studio is full of molasses. We're kept on our toes the whole time, ears glued to each subtle emotional shift. Was it a vacation or a mirage? To further our research, I suppose we'll just have to wait and listen to the whole album.