reviewed by Anna Alger
The long awaited first album by Zonnis has been released, following the Victoria duo’s hundreds of live performances since forming in 2013. Their attitude and humour stand out on this record, which is a melting pot of folk, roots, rock, and blues sounds.
The band keep their music light, even when singing about a lover’s quarrel on the opening track, “Too Little, Too Late.” Vocalist Andrea Zonnis has a strong and clear voice, which pairs naturally with her partner Adam’s twang. Playful saxophone dances atop the song’s varied rhythmic textures.
Zonnis venture into rockabilly territory on the grooving “Party Boots,” echoing the likes of Stray Cats. Tight rhythms couple with guitar noodling and the duo’s refrain, “Dance, dance, dance, don’t stop.” The track flows smoothly into a more downtempo number with a touch of a reggae feel to it: “Springtime Fever.”
Their songs are well produced, the music gliding along in songs such as “Just a Little Piece.” Andrea’s soulful vocals are the focal point, the jaunty yet blues flecked instrumentation driving. Confident and skilled playing is all over this record, the duo’s cohesion likely the pay off from all of their touring.
Rise of the Sheep solidifies Zonnis as a duo whose music is eclectic, danceable, and a joy – both for them and their listeners. The sheer number of genres their music touches on sets them apart from groups who engage in uniformity – Zonnis are certainly one of a kind.
Top Tracks: “Party Boots,” “Too Little, Too Late”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)