Fresh Stream



Wharf Cat Records just released the record you didn’t know you needed. That record is Jeff Zagers’s newest, Still / Alive. Over the last few years, Zagers has dabbled in everything from folk to pop to jazz to noise and has remained a hidden gem of the underground while doing so. Cassettes like Chu’s Blues and Three Tones are essential releases and capture just a fraction of the man’s musical scope. On Still / Alive, we see Zagers moving into Bryan Ferry territory with dynamic art-rock/synthpop. Echoes of Laurie Anderson and Elephant 6 can be heard throughout. The vocal melodies accompanied with the eclectic sound give off the vibe of a downer Ryan Power (high praise indeed). While many artists today work toward producing diverse and expansive bodies of work, few adequately synthesize these elements. On tracks like “Glow of Wine,” the hazy saxophone and beats found on certain Zagers releases find themselves here fully integrated into the pop framework of Still / Alive. The album closes out with the interlude “Hallicid”—one of the album’s jazziest moments—followed by the track “A Growing Interest,” a three-minute noise piece that sounds like a chilled out version of Oubliette. These pieces serve as a further expansion of the album’s sound, developing ideas merely alluded to beforehand, while serving to break apart the experimental pop into more open experimentation.

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