Zerova are a trio from Bialystok in Poland. On first listen, I Think We’ve Lost sounds a bit too beholden to its influences – son of múm if you will. But the album has much more to it than that. Opener “Fukka’jo” sets the tone with music box melodies, glitchy beats, gentle, shoegazey guitar and muted, yearning vocals. The nine tracks that follow don’t vary too much in mood, but there is quite a mix of instrumentation and the tunes are consistently strong.
What sets Zerova apart is their depth of emotion. Sure, there is a childlike quality to the music – the naïve, toytown symphony of “Somebody Read My Poem”, in particular, is like something off Bagpuss (and it’s another tune that includes a swanee whistle – is this the hip sound of 2009?) – but there is a deeper well of emotion being drawn from here. Electronics and acoustic instruments blend together seamlessly. “Hide Away” has click-clack typewriter beats and accordion, with the title softly repeated like a gloomy mantra.
Two of the stand-out cuts have more of an edge to them. “Today I’ve Passed the Barn” has a piano refrain over a quasi-acid squelch bassline and a rhythm that sounds like a DJ scratching with a bubble machine, and “You Won’t” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the last Underworld LP.
I Think We’ve Lost pays repeated listens. It is quite a low key affair that doesn’t scream out for attention. Sometimes, though, the wallflower is the most radiant bloom.
The album will be released by Herb Recordings on March 30th.
1 Fukka’jo 6:25
2 Drift 4:03
3 333 4:12
4 Unnamed Place 4:28
5 Hide Away 5:58
6 Somebody Read My Poem 4:05
7 Today I’ve Passed the Barn 5:02
8 You Won’t 3:50
9 Water House 4:38
10 Crickets 8:44