Swooner – The Zolas: Review

Vancouver band The Zolas have done it again! Yesterday, they released their 3rd studio album, Swooner, and it’s magnificent. The album transitions smoothly back and forth between indie pop and fuzz rock and while the music and theme may be different, their catchy hooks and thought-provoking lyrics remain the same.

The Zolas Swooner

They’ve also done something interesting, they’ve allowed us to hear more than half of the album well before its release. Starting with “Invisible”, which I’m sure at the time of its release was supposed to be a non-album single, then with the release of their Wino Oracle EP last October, we heard another three songs that will appear on this album including the singles “Molotov Girls”, and “Fell In Love With New York,” and now we’ve been introduced to “Get Dark” and the title track, “Swooner.”

I wanted to focus more on the tracks we haven’t heard yet. One of the things I’ve always loved about The Zolas’ music is the fact that their songs are catchy, but the lyrics are full of eloquent metaphor. Each song teaches a valuable lesson while subsequently getting stuck in our head and making us want to dance and rock out, a great example of that is “CV Dazzle.”

I really liked “Molotov Girls”, but it’s songs like “Fell In Love With New York,” “Frieda on the Mountain” and “Why Do I Wait (When I Know You’ve Got A Lover)” that have secured the Zolas a top spot in my iTunes library. It’s easy to get lost in the hot sweaty dancing the ensues at a Zolas show, but the true experience lies in between the playing of notes.

Singer, Zachary Gray, said this album is “about how fucked 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,” – and that is the genius that is The Zolas. They can make you feel incredible and make you want to dance, but then in the same shot, drop the weight of the world on your shoulders as the reality of their lyrics set in.

The album is out now, and can be found on Spotify, iTunes or you can buy the album physically from the Light Organ Records online store. You can also pick up the album by seeing the Zolas live! They’ll be touring across Canada in March and early April book-ended by some appearances at SXSW and a few dates in England in May.

The Zolas Tour

3/15: SXSW @ The Majestic, Breakout West Interactive Showcase, 5:30pm
3/16: SXSW @ Brush Square, Canadian Blast BBQ, 2pm
3/18: SXSW @ Friends Bar, CMW Showcase @ Canada House, 11pm
3/19: SXSW @ The Sidewinder, Fancy PR/ The Burning Ear Showcase, 9:45pm
3/22: Kingston, ON @ The Grad Club
3/23: Hamilton, ON @ The Casbah
3/24: Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
3/25: Ottawa, ON @ Zaphod Beeblebrox
3/26: Montreal, QC @ O Patro Vys
3/30: Calgary, AB @ Marquee
3/31: Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall
4/1: Saskatoon, SK @ Amigo’s
4/2: Winnipeg, MB @ Park Theatre
4/8: Victoria, BC @ Sugar Nightclub
5/18-5/22: Brighton, UK @ The Great Escape

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