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Album Review: Zigtebra – The Brave


Artist: Zigtebra
Album: The Brave
Tracks: 10
Release Date: 19 August 2014
Label: FPE Records

Making their CD/vinyl debut, Chicago sibling duo, Zigtebra, is gearing up to release its second studio album, The Brave, on 19 August.

The bubbling electronic melody that greets you as Bay Bay starts the album, opens the gates to a wave of digital nostalgia, the gradually building layers of blips and beeps creating a 21st century take on the old 8-bit video game soundtracks. This attribute, coupled with Emily (Zebra) and Joe’s (Tiger) no-frills vocals makes for an emotive, yet thoroughly non-intrusive introduction to The Brave.

1. Bay Bay
2. Right Here
3. Alone Together
4. Say Ah! (Make a Joyful Noise)
5. Monsters
6. Catch Me
7. Headphones
8. How We Met (Pure Magical Love)
9. It’s Over
10. Tonight We’re Alive

From here we enter a far more standard guitar and drum oriented sound, following the weightlessly upbeat tumble of the opening number.

Things pick up again though, in a wonderful departure from the electrical influences of the past three tracks, as we stumble upon Say Ah! (Make a Joyful Noise). Predominantly formed by purely onomatopoeic vocals, something tribal is awakened in an otherwise run-of-the-mill minimalist indie record.

This momentary sideline serves to really act as a hook in the eyebrow as we are introduced to Zigtebra’s willingness and success in experimenting with techniques that all too often get kicked to the way-side in an industry dominated by technology.

See how Tiger and Zebra’s experimental style rules their live rendition of The Story of Zigtebra and Headphones below:

Unfortunately this only acts as an early intermission, Monsters later returning us to the mainstream, unclean strut of a guitar to a melancholy beat.

This doesn’t mean the Chicago duo are leaving us to the mercy of indie cliché, though. Float through two more tracks of the same desolate formula and How We Met (Pure Magical Love) offers up 28 seconds of enigmatic spoken-word. This is followed by It’s Over, slipping us back into the electronic layering that by now has really established itself as the more captivating aspect of Zigtebra’s range.

This track goes to show that while the standard indie stylings of some of the previous tracks can become a bit dry, the intricacies that are achieved here with some lighter, cleaner components can allow the music to take a step forward from being a background feature in the listener’s mind to subtly taking up a large chunk of their attention span.

Finishing with the acoustic flourish of Tonight We’re Alive, Zigtebra have shown that a project born from an initial date in which the duo first realised they were related, really has the potential to create something equally weird and wonderful.

For more Zigtebra, go to:
Facebook | Twitter | FPE Records | Bandcamp

About The Author

Currently a 3rd year Journalism student at the University of the West of England. Real life just around the corner and getting excited about new Journalism opportunities! The more music involved, the better.

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