Fear Talk

A 12 track new wave album (8m 48s) — released January 19th 2018 on ASMARA

After their critically acclaimed 2016 EP, Support shows and touring with Balthazar, Battles and Furure Islands the German band Xul Zolar release their debut on Asmara Records.

Perhaps it is no accident that a painterly quality can be found in the music of Fear Talk, the debut-album of Cologne-based band Xul Zolar, given that their name is borrowed from a famed Argentine painter and sculptor. Constructing imaginary worlds is as central for their music as it was for the artist's works. But whereas the latter is best known for his surrealist watercolours, the band's craft tends more towards impressionism. Much like the paintings of the Impressionists, their music conveys a feeling of nostalgia and immediacy, an aura of romanticism.

This dialectic of adaptation and demarcation can be also transposed onto the relationship the band have with the past. Influences and inspirations are not simply repeated and repackaged, but rather refracted through various aesthetic prisms. Rather than broad, domineering brush- strokes of pure pastiche, small touches reminiscent of The Smiths, Talking Heads or Phil Collins are like specks of colour peaking through layers of forward-looking sound.

Emotion is ever-present in "Fear Talk", the title song and one of the record's singles. It serves as an example of the capacity for crafting infectious pop conveying emotional depth absent of cli- che´. "Soft Drones" would neatly fit on a contemporary, maximalist R&B hit record - were it not for lead singer Ronald's forceful yet fragile vocals which lend the track its distinctive mood.

Fear Talk was recorded and produced by Marvin Horsch (Woman, Keshavara) in the summer and autumn of 2016 at Gottesweg, Cologne. It was mixed by Marius Bubat (Coma) and Jan-Philipp Janzen (Von Spar, Cologne Tape) and mastered by Robin Schmidt.

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