When I say that Melo-Zed is one of the best musicians making music today, you better believe me, yeah? The multi-talented artist is back with a brand new project titled Zachary, which acts as a follow up to his 2018 masterpiece Eleven EP, which was one of my favourite projects of that year. This project has been playing non stop since its release, and for good reason. It is an exceptional body of work, and to me an improvement to his last project, which is kinda mad. So don’t be surprised to see it among my favourite albums & EP’s of 2019.
Anyways, Zachary – 12 tracks of guitar-driven melodies and abstract beats that is completely different in tone and sound to Eleven, which was much more beat-centric than this new release. There is much more of a focus on melody on this release, both vocally and instrumentally. James Walker features on “Savannah,” and “Grand Bay,” as his soulful, D’Angelo like vocal performances are accompanied by colourful guitar rhythms and subtle but poignant synths and keys on both tracks. Tracks like “Motor City Blue” are heavy, synth pieces with a lot of built up energy that capture an intensity that is just breathtaking. The acoustic guitar rhythms on “Brotherness” are sublime and so beautifully emotive. Just wow. Jerome Thomas’ vocals on “Sweeter” are gorgeous, as they are harmonized and placed over stunning guitar and piano melodies. Lex Amor features on “You Deh Home” and “Weak Ends,” the latter of which is my favourite track on the album. On the former record, the intense tribal drumming gives way for Lex to showcase her vocal ability, giving a moody and rather beautiful melody that keeps the energy high. As a big fan of hers, I would have loved a verse on this track, but to be honest Melo-Zed was able to use the features brilliantly throughout the tape, with everyone fitting perfectly to the sound of the music. The guitar grooves are stellar and again, the tribal, spiritual and hypnotic tone of this track are sublime. As for “Weak Ends” … THAT VERSE, AND BEAT DROP? Yo, I fell off my seat listening to it. It’s emotive and brings such intensity as that beat kicks in. That was the moment I was like, “yeah, this is the one.”
Overall however, each track gave its own vibe and tone. “079” with Lord Apex and “Film (Interlude)” also provide their unique sounds, as there are strings, guitar melodies and keys that bring me such joy listening to them. Melo-Zed, thank you. Thank you for releasing a project I’ll cherish and play over and over again, you’re a real one.
Listen to Melo-Zed’s fantastic new EP Zachary below via Spotify and don’t forget to support! Released via HW&W Recordings.