Music Profile 101: The Zolas

Last week, Brooke Graham from our Evolution team wrote about the band Yukon Gold, and their upcoming joint concert of in Vancouver with The Zolas (which you can read here). So… I guess it’s my turn to fill you in on the other half.

The four piece indie rock band originates right here in Vancouver. The band officially first formed in 2009 as a duo consisting of Zachary Gray and Tom Dobrzanski, who worked previously in the band, Lotus Child. In that same year, they released their first album, “Tic Toc Tic” and received massive attention on the XM radio station, The Verge. Stylistically, the album was your mix of alternative indie rock mixed with a bit of that Americana / jazzy “cabaret” style to help stand out amongst the crowd.

They followed that up in 2012 with their sophomore album, “Ancient Mars.” The album had more of a minimalist feelings, focusing on stories of love, loss, and emotions.

In 2015, the band shifted their sound, as well as their line up. The band went from two to four, adding Cody Hiles and Dwight Abell. The four of them worked together to self-produce their next album in Dobrzanki’s Monarch Studios – that album being “Swooner,” which was released on March 6th 2016. As for the shifting sound, the band explores a smorgasbord of styles, including alternative and indie-pop, influence of rock, and a dash of retro nostalgia from the 80’s and 90’s. In there own words, Zach calls the album the most reflective of who they are as a band, adding:

“This album is about how f**ked up it feels to step out for a cigarette and a quiet moment at a party, read about disease and climate catastrophe on your phone, finish your cigarette and go back in to dance… Songs about pre-drinking in your apartment, party drugs in Europe, political arson, jerking off to internet porn, pure love in a group of friends, being single and how great it is, being single and how much it sucks, finally realizing what you want to fight for and then getting distracted. It’s the realest, most fun album we’ve ever made by far.”

The band hasn’t put out an album since 2016’s “Swooner,” but that doesn’t mean they still aren’t active on the music scene. Earlier this year, they put out a their single “Bombs Away,” and just last month, did a joint single with Yukon Blonde covering The Traveling Wilburys “Handle With Care.”

If you’re looking for suggestions on songs to get into the band, then check out some of the following from my personal favourites:

  • Molotov Girls – Swooner
  • Invisible – Swooner
  • Why Do I Wait (When I Know You’ve Got a Lover) – Swooner
  • Strange Girl – Ancient Mars
  • Local Swan – Ancient Mars
  • The Great Collapse – Tic Toc Tic
  • Cab Driver – Tic Toc Tic

That was your Music Profile 101, and know you’ve been schooled. Class dismissed.

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