ZINA "Furniture" C22
(Night People Records)

Zina sculpts infectious synth-pop earworms on her lonesome, enlisting little more than her cotton-candy alto, a drum machine (stuck in ‘80s mode), and a handful of varying synth riffs (&modes, &drones, &basslines & swells, & simple contrapuntal melodies), each turned up to eleven, all (the synth dynamics) hosting stock-nostalgic timbres that both amplify And shimmy right through her vocals. The real kicker for me is in the genius mixing, because, while that voice IS gorgeous, it merely hush-hushed’ly swims in the mix juuuust above the surface of said beautifully arranged minimal synth compositions, only modestly commanding to be the focal point, if not outright sharing the spotlight with said synths, altogether.

The end result is a trance-like pop soundtrack that is easy to get lost in and easy to let get lost in the background, only to have one of the many hooks bring you right back from your thoughts a moment later. Each song has it’s own individual identity, yet they all share in the dancy-pantz ‘80s love. The last song is a serious must hear, so strap on the headphones & play loudly!

Also, to note, I got FOUR Night People tapes in my review package last month and really gotta hand it to the good folx over there on an outstanding aesthetic, both on the physical J-Card, as well as the sounds contained therein. More please!


-- Jacob An Kittenplan