Back once again, following the timeless EP Gotcha of 2017, now one of the first artists to grace a brand new pair of noise cancelling headphones – and what a choice for that honor. Jernej Zoran’s new EP is a blissfully simplistic yet dreamy, melodically hypnotic and rhythmically energizing collection of original compositions.
The EP Deuce leads with electric guitar and plenty of space – the quiet zone meets with the meandering thoughts and emotions of the guitarist. The track Daydreamin‘ makes for a beautiful introduction thanks to its delicacy and gentle intention. Then you get the seductive slide into blues-rock heaven for the organic and mildly fuzzy, deeply soulful Blue. Here things take hold of you in a bolder fashion, uniting the swagger and uninhibited riff-play of Hendrix with a mighty bass-line and raw drums; helping create a chaos of calm all around you.
Eleutheria II strikes as perhaps the most memorable, quickly recognisable piece on the new EP. Fusing a hint of European acoustic guitar-work, with a fascinating structure, an impressive build-up and subsequent fall-away, plus a striking hook melody, the track mesmerizes, musically impresses, and proves increasingly addictive as it makes its way through five and a half minutes of run-time. Consistently evolving – changing the pace, the story, the mood. A defiant highlight.
The title-track follows and kicks up a fuss with high energy and a distorted layer of experimentation, leaning confidently towards progressive rock. Then there’s the satisfying drop to indie simplicity, and these two opposing sections each prove recognizable, and decidedly unique. There’s a fullness to the soundscape, and a clever quality to the way each layer responds to those around it – rhythmic changes in weight and volume prove brilliantly engaging. Jernej loses himself in the moment, and as a listener – you’re granted the same opportunity.
Finally, there’s a track called Swamp (Oh Yeah), and it’s something of an epic finish. From the warmth of a choir of voices, Gospel-like as they descend with a shared melody, to the utter outcry that is the soulful, expressive and contrasting guitar work, the track breathes life into the room with sublime depth. Offering waves of soothing unity followed by moments of pause, the whole thing comes in at under two minutes, but delivers a striking alternative to the rest of the project.
Deuce in full is gorgeously eclectic, and absolutely worth letting play three or four times over – the journey doesn’t grow tiresome, the arrangement is on point, and the playing is so uninhibited and openly creative. A great way to kick off the new month.