Zurich – An Alternative Rock Band with Warped Nods to 80s Electronica

The Oxford-based Alternative Pop/Rock band Zurich have already made a name for themselves since forming in 2014. With Adrian Banks on bass and vocals, Christian Gillett on guitar and vocals and Leigh Taylor on drums and samples, this 3-piece band play widescreen post-punk with elements of 80s Electronica and contemporary film scores.

Their debut EP, ‘Small Wars’, was released in 2015 and instantly was met with critical acclaim. They’ve gone on national tours, appeared at a variety of festivals and have been on stage with renowned bands, like Two Door Cinema Club. NME has described their vibe as a mixture of Interpol, The National and The Killers.

Now, three years later, they have released their highly anticipated 2nd EP ‘Where You’ve Been’. Their sound is accompanied by the soft dulcet and haunting vocals of the Indie Folk/Soul Singer-Songwriter and fellow Oxford-based artist, Dolly Mavies. FATEA described her as an ‘excellent singer-songwriter … blessed with a sublime, ethereal voice and a talent for writing thoughtful personal songs.’

‘Where You’ve Been’ aims to tackle the issue of mental health, hence why I have been tasked with reviewing the track. It begins very atmospheric, and indeed reminiscent of Interpol’s song ‘Next Exit’, with a hint of the notes of Imagine Dragons. As the song progresses, it becomes more epic in its feel, and yet it retains its melancholic undertones.

With lyrics like ‘I’ll take you to parties, where you can learn to live’ and ‘You can stay here now cause I know where you’ve been’ it is apparent that the song wants to create this feeling of someone in torment and then another trying to save them.

On the other hand, although technically their sound is good, it’s not ground-breaking. Moreover, regarding relating to mental health, I hate to say it, but it appears quite superficial, saying a lot of middle of the road metaphors without any raw feeling.

I’m not a professional music reviewer, and I do like the song, it’s the kind of thing you’d stick on when you’re feeling a bit low and need a little cry. However, I feel as though most songs that deal with relationships, loss and pain can be argued to be tackling mental health, like, notably the latest album of Linkin Park. Therefore, when compared to other bands, this song doesn’t stand out.

Nevertheless, Zurich have a current and catchy sound and definitely have a prosperous career ahead of them.

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