Jordana Talsky Gets Creative on Zahava EP
The music is minimal on Zahava, the latest EP from Jordana Talsky set to drop on August 27th, while the vocals, as multifaceted as imaginable, are everywhere. In fact, the vocals are the music for the duration of this six-song collection, with the singer tracking the musical melodies and, on some of the more efficacious cuts, even the percussion.
It’s hard not to think of Blacksheep’s “Blunted” when putting an ear to tracks like “Honey”, the grand finale. On the former, the inestimable Black Sheep Dres beatboxes an entire song from the percussion to the kicks, snare, bass, and everything else. Honey is one of Zahava’s most formidable efforts in this vein, particularly with her breathy percussion sounds and the main melody, which is a sheer delight to hear. She’s at her finest when she kicks back and ad-libs for a few bars, truly reveling in the experience of the savory sounds she created, looped up, and chose to sing over.
Speaking of singing, she’s got a particularly lucid voice, which is a testament to the strength of the mixing and mastering on display here –some of which must have been coordinated, perhaps, by producer Justin Abedin. She can make it loud and strong when she chooses, lingering over her runs and issuing a commanding presence at all times.
The formula of looping her vocals up as tracks to sing over is particularly effectual on the opening number “Superpower”. The chief musical element is an eclectic form of scatting that sounds like something Amel Larrieux may have done at some point. However, the main selling point is she harmonizes with it at a few different octaves or pitches, which enhances the sonic richness, making it particularly sweet.
This track, like a few others, actually has bona fide drum sounds, as in those not produced from the singer’s mouth. There’s a super clean snap that gives it some much needed verve, and even a four-on-the-floor drum pattern that works well as she voices her desire for a “super powerful love”.
“Trouble Up” takes an interesting spin on things by buttressing a particularly eminent vocal loop—in which she’s obviously playing with her timbre, cascading down a series of notes—with some forceful singing about the “witching hour” and the accordant trouble at hand. It’s indicative of the type of refreshing creativity typifying this project, making it well worth listening to when it drops.