Sam Battle, Russ Harley and Ben Everest are fast on the road to becoming Britain’s next big outfit in their genre. What genre that is I don’t really know-although they have described it as ‘glitch indie’. I’m not entirely sure what that is but since they have attributed much of their interesting synth creations to random glitches in their equipment, this is perhaps fitting. There is no need to box bands of this type into a specific genre, they can be enjoyed and appreciated by all. A unique mix of nostalgia and modern twists, Zibra’s sound has managed to harness elements from both the new and the old, while retaining an independent, innovative sound. Succeeding a string of EPs and the hugely popular single, ‘Wasted Days’, ‘Girls Like You’ and B-side ‘Goodbye Mondays’ mark the latest additions to this up and coming band’s catalogue.
Now, in ordinary circumstances, I am not a big fan of synth heavy music, but ‘Girls Like You’ is a definite exception to the rule. Accompanied by a quirky, highly stylised music video, ‘Girls Like You’ is a funky, upbeat track; everything I wish for when I listen to Zibra. The drum beats pop, swinging throughout to create an odd effect somewhere in between pushing the music forward and keeping it in check. Whilst the guitar is undoubtedly an important ingredient in the mixture, it is certainly the synths which make this song truly brilliant. I find it wonderful when electronic sounds can be used to compliment classic guitar music, and the lads have definitely achieved this here.
B-side ‘Goodbye Mondays’ introduces you to the vocal capabilities of Sam Battle more, and is characterised with the thundering choruses; choruses which achieve a power almost unfathomable when you look at each of its parts in separation from each other. Choral singing supports Sam well, especially in the harmonies executed to perfection near to the climax of the song. ‘Goodbye Mondays’ is a song of emotional lows and soaring highs, and I may go as far to say that it qualifies this release as a double A-both tracks achieve brilliance in different ways.
Zibra are, for me, the way forward for the indie genre. As the ideas start to run out for straight forward guitar music, I can envisage a switch to an incorporation of new sounds that can only be achieved through the acceptance of our electronic options, as Zibra seem to have done already. The quest to achieve something new becomes ever more difficult as time goes on, but Zibra are in an extremely strong position, much stronger than many other bands on the circuit at the moment, to continue to produce music to interest and excite, and I am excited to hear their next work, whatever direction it may take.
You can listen to ‘Girls Like You’ and witness the accompanying video here.