If you find yourself with the sudden urge to hop, skip and jump in a dancing fashion, it’s likely the musical craftwork of The Zolas is to be held accountable. Though many take part in their live shows, the Vancouver band’s crux consists of vocalist/guitarist Zachary Gray and Tom Dobrzanski on piano, who together form a vivacious duo. The Zolas are packed full of buoyant and spirited soundscapes, which are just downright compellingly groovy. I had a delightful conversation with the real swell Zachary Gray about their upcoming record and how their home in BC has nurtured a reputable musical backdrop within their friend set.
“Our last album was a bit of a throwback, in that it was jut a bunch of guys in a room playing their instruments well and having a good time, that sort of thing.” says Gray. “This one is a little more deliberate and more thought through. It’s colder and there are not as many angsty fits as there were in the first album.”
It would seem our West Coast plays home to quite the artist collective, along with The Zolas, musicians such as Aidan Knight, Dan Mangan, as well as bands like Said the Whale, and fellow 2012 Sledders, We Are the City, to only name a few — our Pacific Ocean friends seem to have cultivated a fantastic musical mosaic.
“Our scene reflects the scene of music today,” explains Gray. “We are all really good friends and we hang out and see each other at the same parties and play dodgeball together, but we don’t really sound anything alike. Our group of friends runs across such a wide spectrum of music and essentially that’s what music is like these days, everyone listens to a bit of everything.”
As far as Sled Island goes, Gray seems quite enthusiastic for The Zolas to take part.
“I’m very excited, I’ve never played this festival before. Sled Island just keeps getting better and better, it’s now one of the best city festivals in Canada. I’m looking so forward to all of the incredible bands.”
Ireful and fiery lyrics are saturated in dynamic, spry melodies and arrangements to produce the liveliest of music, a real treat for aching ears. Between Gray’s sprightly vocals and Dobrzanski’s vibrant ivory tickling, it’s not difficult for The Zolas to coax one’s body into energetic hip-swaying, foot- stomping movement. Theirs is a show that is certainly not one to be missed this Sled Island.
Catch The Zolas at the Palamino on June 20.
by Nivedita Iyer