After a Destructive Year, ZLUTZ Aims for Peace and Growth on New EP ‘Libra Rising’

Jenny and Charlie, better known as UK band ZLUTZ, are no strangers to the apocalypse. Their 2019 project Digital Wrath is full of futuristic (and distressing) sounds paired with standout musicality in tracks like “Grievance” and “Heaven (Cheap Entry).” Libra Rising is a turning point for the duo, with hopeful lyrics and euphoric production.

Despite a year of ever-present death and disease, paired with strict UK lockdowns that kept them apart, positivity and growth were on the mind for Jenny and Charlie during the process of creating Libra Rising. “I wanted all of the lyrics to be positive,” Jenny said of the songwriting process. “There was definitely that in the process, I felt a lot more positive about working on the music this time ‘round. It was a lot more upbeat, much more upbeat.” Charlie echoed this, saying: “Thematically, I was thinking a lot about growth and changing in sound.”

The album opens with the stunning track “777,” featuring production by the inimitable Himera, which displays a brand-new step forward for the duo. This collaboration was years in the making, Charlie and Jenny told me. “Himera and I have been really good friends for years and years,” Charlie said. “I was constantly hustling for a collab. Eventually I made that beat [for “777”] and was like, look, if you didn't collab on this you’re insane. So he sent me the stems for it, and it was really cool. It was exciting to me ‘cause obviously collaborating with a friend is always fun, but also, it's Himera right. It's pretty, pretty f*cking cool.”

The strongest track on the EP is “Conscious and Earthbound,” the duo’s first single from this era. The lyrics conjure a sense of being grounded and connected to one’s environment, and otherworldly vocal effects combine to turn Jenny’s singing into a powerful and affecting experience. With production by VASCHA, the booming track embraces the best of ZLUTZ’s style showcased on Digital Wrath and a newfound feeling of peace.

If Libra Rising comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb. The gorgeous “Oval Oceans (Reprise)” incorporates synths and piano for a gentle comedown to close the album. At 25 minutes, the project accomplishes a full swath of emotion without extra and unnecessary frills. By keeping the EP compact, Jenny and Charlie display maturity in their music and production choices, something that came along with a personal sense of growth, they told me.

“I've gone through a lot of personal grief.” Charlie said. “I've been through like three breakdowns since the EP began. It's been a lot, but I've learned and grown so much from all of it. I think just producing the EP itself has forced me into this weird state of, like, ‘I'm becoming an adult now.’ I have started to mature in that kind of way. It feels like a big deal.”

Libra Rising is a powerful musical experience, and one that doesn’t feel pretentious or put-on. Charlie and Jenny created something special out of the ashes of 2020 and the people they once were, ready to take on fresh new identities. The EP is an outstanding project from ZLUTZ.

Post a Comment

My Instagram

Copyright © Ringtone Mag.