Zerova: I Think We've Lost
Herb Recordings

Zerova's I Think We've Lost merges the child-like instrumental splendour and sparkle of Múm with alluring, concise song structures. Though the Polish trio of Adrian Jakuc-Lukaszewicz, Pawel Dudzinski, and Maja Chmurkowska openly admits that its sound is indebted to the Icelandic outfit, Zerova has refined the style into something uniquely its own. Accordion, melodica, electric piano, occasional vocals, and guitars take turns at the forefront of the group's electronically-woven mix where the hum of charming toybox melodies and the mechanical thrum of clickety-clattering beats converge. “Fukka'jo,” a particularly lovely example of Zerova's style, initiates the album on a melancholy note, with wistful melodies played by a mini-orchestra of sounds before a yearning vocal enters halfway through to deepen the entrancing mood. One of the instruments is carousel-like in timbre but its melodies are more mournful than joyous. “Somebody Read My Poem” likewise impresses by wedding exuberant, sing-song melodica melodies with tinkling counterpoint and minimal beat patter and pops. At disc's end, low-key vocals and pianos (acoustic and electronic) gently resound amidst nocturnal insect noises in “Crickets.” One of the most satisfying things about Zerova's approach is that the group anchors its ample instrumental colour with repeating themes and melodies, resulting in solidly structured songs that leave a stronger imprint than meandering compositions of less coherent form. Appearing seemingly out of nowhere, the album—Zerova's first for the Herb Recordings imprint—surprises and impresses for being so accomplished.

May 2009