July 2, 2014

zola_blood Jordan Pedersen killed Laura Palmer.

Mystique sells. Just about the entire indie R&B outfit – the Weeknd, BenZel, Rhye, How to Dress Well – parachuted into the game under cover of darkness. Where are these guys from? Is it a band or a producer project? Is there someone *famous* involved?!

But mystery only gets you so far. In TV, Twin Peaks and Lost came apart when their creators had to start offering some answers to their questions. The luster of the Weeknd’s lust faded when everyone realized coke binges and one-night stands aren’t all that compelling. In the end, you need to deliver on your promise.

I don’t know where Zola Blood is/are from. I’m guessing England, since they’re signed to the same label that put out albums by the catastrophically great English post-punk band Talk Talk. (Seriously, Laughing Stock still slays.) I don’t know their names. I don’t even know their gender, Rhye having thrown me off irreparably.

What I do know is that “Grace,” their debut track, is a damn fine song. It’s opaque in its menace – the mystery continues – and careful in its construction, a trip-hop indebted symphony of stairstep synths, murky bass, and, best of all, chiming post-punk guitars in the coda.

Importantly, then, if the metadata of Zola Blood is obscured, their music is not. I may not know who they are, but I know what they’re about.

Zola Blood makes good music. Everything else is window dressing.

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