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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Calm of Zero - Gentle sounds bring a storm of thought

Here we go again, a new post from the Indie Dunes team.

But firstly, I would like to thank everyone for reading and sending feedback to both myself and Fishy. Not many people leave comments on the actual blog pages but the amount of positive feedback in Twitter, both as public tweets and direct messages, for me is quite humbling. Even more so when we hear people are coming back to the blog, over and over. Best part is knowing the bands we have featured are having their music listened to from people that might not have stumbled across it. An old school friend messaged me saying she had read Indie Dunes and the post made her want to listen to the music. It wasnt her cup of tea, but thats the thing (in my eyes) At least she had an opportunity and listened. What more could you ask for!!!

Soppy but meaningful and important meanderings despatched. New music post time \o/

Here enter Calm Of Zero. 

Open up twitter to find someone has accidently followed me (thats how I feel).I always try to send a tweet to say thanks and follow back. Im not going to embelish what happened when I saw the profile picture. OMG factor, made my jaw drop, followed by feverishly pressing my phone to open the link on the screen. Within the first paragraph on Calm of Zero's website my first OMG instinct was confirmed YEP its them.


Calm of Zero are a duo playing some of the most captivating acoustic songs Ive heard in a long time. Springing up from the ashes (palagrised from CoZ website) from one of my favouite bands of the mid 90s Echobelly. You know I love my connections. Echobelly also played a part in Fishy and I becoming the friends we are today, in particular the track Dark Therapy. So as you will see later on, the coincidence continues to weave its way into this post.

This isnt an Echobelly post BUT it is important to acknowledge why Echobelly were more than just an exciting band with songs that made me want to bounce up and down. Loud guitars, with the most distinctive quiet voice which had to "get loud" for the message to push across the well crafted noise coming from behind. Thats why I held/hold Echobelly so close, there was ALWAYS a message. 

So happens, one that I connected with. Disassociation with my surrounding no matter how hard I tried to fit in. With feelings like this, a strong sense of social justice comes out in your belief system. Well it did with me. You bond, doesnt matter how flimsy the connection might seem to the outside world, its yours and you give it everything. "Everyone's Got One" is still one of my favourite albums 

Back to Calm Of Zero.

I believe it took no longer than a nanosecond to click the play button on the Soundcloud page, they say first impressions are lasting. I hope so, because within the opening bars of "Long Way Round" I was quickly enveloped in a calmness. I was lucky enough to stumble across a project called "Low Roar" late last year. The opening of CoZ musically reminds me of that. Sonya enters and her voice takes you down a gentle path to that special place where the world stops.

CoZ released the first Acoustic Sessions in 2011 a six song collection, and I cant find one song that doesn't send a tinlge down my spine. Recorded on a 6 and 12 string guitar with minor embelishments (website palagrism again LOL) Im not quite sure how Sonya's voice can be classed as a minor embelishment...(whispers quietly...i think they mean production and other instruments but Im being cheeky).

Fortunately, Ive found CoZ when they have released the second Acoustics Session, I say fortunately because I can hear the progression and growth between both releases instantly. There was a beacon shining on the final track of Session 1. Im pleased to see the style of the second Session has followed that beam of light. To my ear there seems to be more Asian sounds and influences moulded or flowing through the fabric of the tracks on the second release, its soothing to hear the different cultures effortlessly blending together. Neither outshines or swamps the other. Song crafting at its pinnacle.

The undeniable strength of both releases is Sonyas voice. There is such a beauty in the way she phrases the lyrics, its a journey. It really is a pleasure to listen to such a subtle expressive voice. The harmonies are perfect. Obviously I have a little bit in my memory bank to compare todays compositons to the magic I found in Echobellys tunes.

What stands out more than ever, is the maturity and experience in Sonya's vocals. Nothing could highlight that more, just listening to the original version of "Dark Therapy" and the recent acoustic session. Its haunting, and it sends shivers down my temples. This is where you can clearly hear, CoZ didnt just rise from the ashes of Echobelly, they evolved to something amazing that is hard to put into words. I'm thankful Ive found them or they found me...bizarrely LOL.

My favourite tracks of the two releases are

Session 1 "Salamander Sky" 

Session 2 "Snowflakes in Summer" 

There is something so simple and yet peaceful about acoustic songs. You can place them simply in any situation in life and feel connected to the human race. I've shared these tracks at the dinner table with my wife and kids, while we discussed our day. Or even sitting around a campsite with friends, or sadly like so many people in the world at this moment, huddled in a shelter with your loved ones being calmed by the gentle sounds, while their world outside is falling apart.

I hope you read this post, listen to the tracks and then search out the full releases on iTunes or Bandcamp. Because music like this makes me thankful I am alive.


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