4 tracks of bouncing, shimmering, fluorescently creative electronic-alternative-indie soundscapes, the new EP 4×2 from Zach James Douglas is a buoyant, unrelenting yet emotive and relatable joy.
Opening with ‘I’d Breathe For You’, a sea of dappled electronics, pulsing beats, choppy guitar and moving bass, Douglas opens with the EP with a intently, almost obsessively create and affecting track in ‘I’d Breath For You’. Chopping in such a wide variety of sounds which change from section to section with ease, somehow flowing flawlessly despite the cut up samples and intense, untethered nature of the instrumentation, the track manages to float over you which dappled sounds surround Zach’s silky, understated lead vocal.
The pulsing chorus underpinned by a throbbing sub bass, awash with vocal samples and fizzing synth pads in the latter stages of the track truly hammers home the utter creativity of the track, comparable to the work of James Blake, Bon Iver, Jai Paul and early Mura Masa. A stunning intro to Douglas’ unique, rich electronic sound.
‘Depths Of It’ continues this journey, leaning further into the atmospheric side of Zach’s repertoire but stick with what I will affectionately call his ‘James Blake-y’ synth sounds. Using tinkly synths and samples to surround the warming synth sounds and choppy beats. As the track develops, at the mid point you’re taken on a cinematic journey through strings and sampled spoken word clips before the track takes on a new life with a pulsing bass and intense synths under Zach’s ever warming, melancholic vocal delivery.
‘You’re Still Everything’ captures more of an upbeat poppy edge, with percussive synths and clicking drums which build under a warming, silky guest vocal. Infectious and heartwarming with a pleasing ebb and flow between high tempo, explosive sections and more delicate, reflective sections, it’s a stunning example of the more accessible side of the EP.
Closing with the swaying, swinging beats of ‘Vacant Days & Panic Attacks’, again featuring the same guest vocals surrounded by more inventive production comparable to the pulsing, experimental approach of Jai Paul, 4×2 closes with a fittingly euphoric soundscape of washing, atmospheric synths, reverb guitar lines and infectious vocals.
A stunning EP, mixing pop elements with expemiermental-electronic production, beautiful synth sounds and otherworldly atmospherics, 4×2 is a brilliant effort, a signal for a new artist surely about to launch himself to a new level. The wildly intense nature of the productions, pulsing, choppy, unrelenting, there is something warming and homely which covers the whole EP, especially in the vocal deliver and that is what makes it such a compelling listen. It’s restlessly creative, sounding almost afraid of being considered too mainstream, determined to push boundaries but still holds a relatability complimented by the unquestionably high level of musicality on display. Keep your eye on Zach James Douglas, he’s one hell of a talent.