New music to listen to this week: Zola Blood

Now Hear This

Roisin O'Connor
Wednesday 21 December 2016 16:21 GMT
Zola Blood
Zola Blood (Mike Massaro)

It's the last Now Hear This of the year!

And what a year for new music it's been. Don't believe me? Check out our Ones to Watch list to see just how promising 2017 is looking, or have a browse through this year's new music column.

So the final new act featured for 2016 is Zola Blood - this London-based four piece have just come back with a new single 'Islands' from their upcoming debut LP Infinite Games.

Frontman Matt says of the track: "A friend of mine was telling me about an evening she spent with her boyfriend at the time, getting rained on all night in a tent and said in passing that they felt like an island.

"That imagery just stuck in my head. The track is about drifting off with someone, forgetting who you are or where you're supposed to be."

Listen to the premiere for 'Islands' below:

Q&A with Zola Blood

What are you listening to at the moment?

We're a pretty eclectic bunch. Paul has been playing a lot of artists like Nicola Cruz, Red Axes and Manfredas - all quite slow techno, with a load of different influences. We've all been enjoying the releases from Deewee, the label set up by the Dewaele brothers (Soulwax/2ManyDjs).

I've just got into a band called The Internet from LA who have been around a while and our good friends Boxed In just brought out their second record, so that's been on too.

What are your plans for 2017?

We finished our album a couple of months ago after a long and fairly difficult incubation, it should be coming out in April.

We've also got London shows booked for January at the Pickle Factory and February at the Lexington, then want to get out to the summer festivals. We've actually been writing new stuff, so there might be another release of something too.

What was the first gig you played?

First gig we played as a band was at the Shacklewell Arms in Dalson, which has sort of become our de facto home. We did our first EP launch there and sold it out, so were pretty terrified, but it went alright and nothing broke. It also happens to be just around the corner from my flat, so it's an easy walk home...

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Secret Garden Party was amazing. It rained for 24 hours beforehand and when we arrived the place was a bog. It rained the whole time through our load in and during our line check, but just before we went on the rain stopped and just left the smoke from the fireworks display hanging over the stage. It's the biggest crowd we've played to and I remember there were people hanging off hay bails and all over the place - it was pretty special.

Worst gig?

The worst is probably pre-Zola Blood when a couple of us were in another band. We played a festival in Bristol and had the graveyard set ,opening a stage on a Sunday. We literally had to wake the sound guy up who was in a bad way - then we played in this old barn where loads of people were trying to sleep off the night before. No-one wanted to be there.

Infinite Games is set for release in early 2017 - pre-order the album now. The band play the Pickle Factory on 19 January

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