Deerhunter, David Bowie , Pinkunoizu, Radiohead (the bends era)
Zach Walker, Jack Quinn, James Needham and Harrison Moore
David bowie , Slowdive, Talk Talk, Pinkunoizu
Nyanza’s confident, aggressive new EP doesn’t reflect the band’s past: years of unreleased projects and unrealistic expectations. Instead, NYANZA is a rebellion against the lethargy that dominated the band’s earlier years (when under the moniker ‘Hunting Eden’), and pushes forth into new thematic and sonic territory.
In the lazy hue of post-HSC life, the band found themselves at somewhat of a crossroads. Intermittent gigging and the remains of numerous unreleased Eps led to a general disillusionment with the whole artistic process as they wrote, reinvented their sound and changed as people. The songs composed through this period were bare and temporal, and although they showcased the band’s affective songwriting ability and ability to compose ear-wormy tracks they didn’t ever seem to click past an early demo or shoddy recording session.
Although the output of the band was largely non-existent, each member began crafting and honing their own personal skills as musicians. Zach Walker, main songwriter, guitarist and vocalist locked himself away in his room and began to compose and experiment, amassing a collection of genre-bending songs and sounds. Jack Quinn continued to extend his reach as a drummer, exploring jazz fusion, late 60’s rock and progressive experimentation. James Needham began to compose both electronic and 90’s style brit pop, and progress as a rhythmic and creative bassist. Finally, Harrison Moore threw himself into music both as a listener and a brilliant classical pianist and synth player.
It wasn’t until the end of Zach’s first year at university that he locked himself in his room and rebelled against laziness by writing a set of new compositions, as well as adapting a few early ‘Hunting Eden’ tracks. At first planned to be a set of singles, the process became somewhat sentient and morphed into an extended 7 track EP. Inspired by contemporary DIY musicians such as Pond’s Nick Allbrook, Zach began to compose the vibrant, collage-like NYANZA in his home studio. It reflected the full scale of musical influence he had been exposed to by both Harrison and his other close friends, tied together by a psychedelic, woozy approach to sound design.
Over the course of the next few months, drums were tracked in a garage by Jack, compositions were warped, rewritten and reformed by James and Harrison and the Ep began to form into an exploration of the self.
Taking inspiration from late 90’s shoegaze in the vein of Slowdive as well as contemporaries such as Deerhunter, Parquet Courts and Bends-era Radiohead, NYANZA becomes in ways a buffet of different musical ideas and tangents. Songs warp between dissonant cacophony, such as the instrumental of ‘Frozen’, and quiet, atmospheric subtlety, as heard in ‘Intro’. Drone, post-rock and psychadelia are all absorbed into the fray and result in an album which both explores the richness of experimentation while remaining remarkably cohesive.
NYANZA was taken on as the band’s new name, and the choice to start again, this time, represents a new maturity- one that is reflected and refracted and challenged all through their debut EP, out on the 28th of May this year.