In a few weeks, October 2nd to be exact, The Zola’s second full length LP touches down. Ancient Mars, is produced by Chuck Brody (Phantogram, Wu-Tang Clan) and according to the duo’s Soundcloud page, “trades in the cabaret glitz of Tic Toc Tic for reverbed pianos and hard, minimalist beats.” Lead singer Zachary Gray further expounds on the auditory expectations of the sophomore effort saying it will find audiences with a newer and crisper pop sound in addition to building on their previous shoegazing indie influences like Ambulance LTD.
19 days ago the Vancouver based duo allowed the internet a glimpse of what is to come in the form of the single “Knot In My Heart.”
“We wrote this song about the doomed relationships among us and our group of friends,” Gray says, and since it’s been three years since their debut “Knot In My Heart” has the chance to work from a bounty of material even though a great song only needs a single impetus.
Musically “Knot In My Heart” walks a tightrope of fluctuating tempos. A careful build finds Gray’s vocal’s 40 seconds into the song but it’s not until the 1:26 mark that the song finds it’s first chorus along with it’s stride. From there on out, it’s an up and down of ride lead by by Tom Dobrzanski’s (previously of Lotus Child) piano.
Then at the end, like the start, the song builds to it’s most hectic before it suddenly, and unceremoniously ends.
“When you’re low on the seesaw you look up at the other up there in the sun and you’re just glad to be playing; when you’re high on the seesaw you’re dazzled by all the other people in the playground and forget whose weight is lifting you. Then it switches continually ’til you both get sick and someone jumps off. This song is what it’s like to fall out of love,” Gray remarks.
Whether or not you find Gray’s description of falling out of love personally accurate, his vision is made clear, and “Knot In My Heart” executes this vision flawlessly. You may not love The Zolas follow up, but the release of this single makes it evident that Ancient Mars should at least be the exact album they set out to make and for those like myself, who do enjoy this 2012 direction, it does exactly what it’s supposed to do, get me excited for October 2nd.