ZILLA is the brilliant new album from the UK’s Fenech-Soler, to be released on February 3, 2017 on So Recordings. The bold, shimmering, eclectic pop of ZILLA heralds a thrilling new chapter for the Northamptonshire band, now a duo comprising brothers Ben and Ross Duffy. Loaded with personality and pockets of experimentation, ZILLA – named after a close friend – is chock full of positive and upbeat pop songs. “Kaleidoscope,” the opening track on the recent Kaleidoscope EP, was premiered by Huw Stephens on Radio 1. The EP itself, which features four songs also found on ZILLA, has been streamed over a million times already.
ZILLA will be available on CD, 12″ Vinyl LP, and Digital DL. Pre-order any copy of the record from either Fenech’s store, in physical format, or digitally, through iTunes (for a limited time at $7.99) and receive the following tracks instantly: “Kaleidoscope,” “On Top,” “Night Time TV,” and the never-heard-before song “Cold Light.“
The seeds for ZILLA‘s creation were first sewn at the end of a lengthy tour in support their 2013 album Rituals (which featured the singles “All I Know” and “Magnetic”), the follow-up to 2010’s self-titled debut. Having landed a Q Awards nomination, toured with everyone from Kelis to Miike Snow to Robyn, successfully battled cancer (Ben was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011), and played headline shows all over the world – including Shepherd’s Bush Empire at the end of their last major UK tour – the band needed a break.
However, Ben and Ross chose to go to Los Angeles, demoing immediately with REM and U2 collaborator Jacknife Lee. While those early sessions were fruitful, there was a nagging sense that the catalyst for the album’s creation hadn’t been discovered. So the brothers headed home, swapping the heady extremes of Los Angeles for a small farming village in Northamptonshire, where they built a makeshift studio.
Inspired by disco, old soul vocal harmony groups and an unwavering love of pop music, the pair steadily built up a collection of their most vibrant songs yet. While previous albums have seen them collaborate with the likes of Tim Goldsworthy, Galantis and Starsmith, ZILLA was a much more organic album, with most of it self-produced.
The fruits of their labor can be heard in the textured mesh of “Grace,” an oddly undulating near-instrumental that’s awash with slowly expanding synths. As with most of the album, it’s both instant and strangely experimental. That sense of trusting your creative instincts can be heard on the synth-lead banger, “On Top,” and the atmospheric soul shimmer of “Night Time TV.” “Kaleidoscope,” the album’s opening song and lead single, is a buoyant ode to the pure joy of love that recalls the streamlined indie-pop of The Whitest Boy Alive.
While the first half of the album focuses on a lighter mood, the album’s latter songs shift in tone slightly. Perhaps one of its best moments is the ballad “Be Someone,” a song that borrows from those blustery 80’s soundtrack ballads and creates something deliciously modern. Or there’s the epic glide of the album’s closing song, “From Afar,” which steadily builds to an orchestral crescendo.
A glorious, unashamed pop album that will sound incredible in a live setting, ZILLA is the sound of a band confidently coming to terms with their sound while steadily refining it. This is the album that takes Fenech-Soler to another level.