Finally, we’ve reached the inevitable conclusion of our A-Z with three acts for Z. Here you’ll find some stirring contemporary folk from Zygmunt Day & Echo Pressure, acoustic indie from North Going Zax and internationally-flavoured hip-hop from Zaiio.
Zygmunt Day & Echo Pressure
Singer-songwriter Zygmunt Day (backed up by his band, Echo Pressure) makes folk music, but not the kind of bearded faux-sincere pap that’s clogged up the charts under this genre designation in recent years. New EP On Streets That Know gives an indication of where Day is coming from, featuring a cover of Euan McColl’s Dirty Old Town – his music is connected to the folk ethos of writing songs rooted by a sense of place, from The Dubliners to Bruce Springsteen.
Sonically, it’s harder to pin down, but thankfully that’s due to an excess of ideas rather than a lack of them. The band draw from a host of influences, including disco and drone, ensuring they never fall into empty folk revivalism. We hope their latest recording will bring them to the attention of a wider audience.
Follow Zygmunt Day on Twitter here.
We’re breaking with A-Z convention a little bit to feature North Going Zax (who are based in the US, rather than the UK). That’s fine, though, firstly because finding suitable bands for the letter Z is hard and secondly because we really like them.
Combining idiosyncratic vocals with strong acoustic melodies, the Boston group could be set for big things once they’re given the chance to hone their recording style. The duo – starring Matthew Otto on vocals and rhythm guitar, and Jeff Poliseno on bass, are certainly capable of producing unusual and captivating sounds.
This country-hopping musician is equally tricky to tie down to a genre, although her remarkable blend of hip-hop, house, trap and moombahton doesn’t really need to be constrained. Zaiio is a project from a young Moroccan based in London – she initially moved to London to take up a place at LSE before dropping out to pursue music, making her one of the few, if not the only, economists-turned-rappers around.
Recent mixtape Bon Voyage encapsulates her polyglot, multifarious sound – parts of it were recorded at the Agafay Studio in Morocco, highlighting the international nature of Zaiio’s approach. For a sample of what hip-hop can sound like in 2014, check it out.
Follow her here.