Leah Hamer || November 29th
Growing Up Anyways is the highly anticipated debut album from the latest avant-garde pop sensation, Zohara- an experimental singer and composer from Tel Aviv, that is taking the West by storm.
Unsure anticipation, alien sounds, uncharted territories- this is the world that Zohara produces within seconds of her opening track, Amplify Me. A high, playful voice that is distorted and warped beyond human capacity makes Zohara a creature from another galaxy.
She has a knack for sourcing strange sounds and turning them into music- just one example is the tingling, tinny beats in Music Box which combine childish toy noises with more, standard and mature synth rhythms.
The brass section in Play, to the bubbling electronics of A Song For Our Parents, to the stripped back keys of Piano 1976- boredom cannot be conjured whilst listening to this album. It is utterly fearless, combining traditional and contemporary instruments and celebrating new and old techniques together.
Lost is the stand-out track. Its melody glides around you calmly, with the occasional eerie explosion of minor strings. It is here that Zohara reveals her vocal capacity- she is not just an auto-tuned robot, but a real soul. The chaos of the rest of the album can feel slightly overwhelming, until you reach this track and your surroundings become still and silent.
Zohara, in the same respect as her predecessors of weird, interpretive pop like Björk, will polarise opinion. Some will marvel over her endlessly, some may press skip after twenty seconds. She is anything but inoffensive. She is unique, daring, and willing to push the boundaries of musical recording. For that, she deserves the uttermost respect.
Growing Up Anyways is out now.