Zulu Pearls’s debut, No Heroes No Honeymoons, was instantly one of my favorite records of the year. After listening to it obsessively for a week, I knew I had to ask ZP’s songwriter Zach Van Hoozer to make M|H a mixtape. Chilled out and wistful, it’s an excellent listen as autumn days fade to gray.
From Zach: Just got back to Berlin, where it’s dark at 4 PM and raining, this quick mix sums up my vibe at the moment…best save it for a rainy day.
01| Thank God for the Rain by Bernard Herrmann
02| Lord Knows Best by Dirty Beaches
03| My Kind of Woman by Mac Demarco
04| Sin Título by Esplendor Geométrico
05| Some Things Last a Long Time by Daniel Johnston
06| County Line by Cass McCombs
07| You Know More Than I Know by John Cale
08| Here’s That Rainy Day by Tony Bennett
Finally, finally, finally a band has come along and put out a record that is gritty and minimalist but gratefully not under-produced. That band is Zulu Pearls. Songwriter Zach Van Hoozer and producer Nick Anderson may have saved indie from itself by moving out the back rooms and basements while artfully dodging pop music’s sheen.
It’s rare to get super-swooney for a record on first listen, but No Heroes No Honeymoons does it. There’s a thread of genuineness that runs throughout; a soundtrack to our lives that doesn’t feel market-researched and manipulated to swell at just the right moment.
The blissed-out thrum of “Honeyland” smacks of late-night pool parties and top-down drives, and Zulu Pearls keeps things sexy on “Two Thousand Whatever” – the slink of the Sharks do-si-dos with the twist of the Jets as Van Hoozer croons, “I waste my breath on rock and roll and ain’t nobody gonna save my soul.”
“Hard and Young” is a solid cut, and the title-track closer pulls out the feeling beat by deliberate beat. “No Heroes No Honeymoons” tugs at the heart without bumming out – it gives the same feeling of sudden nostalgia a person experiences when doing something that makes them so happy that they begin to mourn its passing before it’s even done.
No Heroes No Honeymoons drops 09.18.12. Click here to download the title track.
Visit the band’s official website here.