Samuel Zasada
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Samuel Zasada

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"Demo of the Month - Buried EP"

Having hinted at something decent with his last demo earlier this year, Samuel Zasada (the evil, world-domination-seeking acoustic singer-songwriter alter-ego of Witney’s David Ashbourne) returns with four tracks that show a huge step-up in quality and ambition. It takes something pretty special for these types of demos to stand out, and David looks like he’s found that something special. A rough-hewn bluesy voice that’s capable of easing into something softer and more emotive; a sense of poetry that offers a glimpse into his soul without going overboard on the emotional hand-wringing, and an ear for interesting arrangements of what are simple songs. ‘Grow Up To Be’ comes in like a fusion of Bruce Springsteen and Billy Bragg, delicate but raw, laced with steel guitar and a great lyric packed with melancholy and understated bitterness. ‘Buried’ is a slow-burning acoustic gothic folk rumble that makes a big sound from modest components and with David’s voice dropping into more gentle territory, not far from This Mortal Coil’s Dominic Appleton. ‘Place Your Words In Tune’ is darkly atmospheric, not unlike nu-folkies Candidate, while the closing ‘The Blade That You Hold’ is dreamier and more spacious, his voice back to its rougher, bluesier edge. There’s a creeping hypnotic feel about the whole demo that slowly sucks you in, and by the time you’ve listened through a few times you’re completely entranced. At the rate of improvement Mr Zasada is showing, he’ll have turned into Leonard Cohen, invented a cure for cancer and scored an Ashes-winning double century before the summer is out. - Nightshift, Issue 167, June 2009


"Buried EP Review"

" ... decent nugget of rootsy rebellion ... “Buried” sounds like some strange Jewish funeral music, with mournful harmonised vocals, the corpse of a klezmer bassline and the slightly saucy sounding line, “Will you part my sea?” Whilst most acoustic singers are sitting around moaning about being a weeny bit lonely, Zasada has cut right to some truly exhausted, lovelorn sentiments here, that are more Thomas Hardy than Damien Rice, thankfully ... It’s another strong performance, harmonica puffing over the top like thick polls of exhaust fumes ... an incredibly promising and assured recording. Doesn’t sound like he has much growing up left to do as an artist ... " - Oxfordbands


"Demo Review"

“… sounds like some between-the-wars gospel blues … has an ambition and a strangely exotic feel that holds it all together well …” - Nighshift, Issue 164, March 2009


"Live Review, Jericho Tavern"

“ ...When Mr Zasada starts up, we decide that he’s well worth our cover charge support, as his voice is immense: creamy, guttural and melodic, with the breath control to rip into some intriguingly wordy verses. He’s got a real talent... ” - Oxfordbands


"Album Review"

“…beautiful in places, and the 12 folk-esque tracks often contain moments of true musical showmanship … A whimsical mix of pianos, pipes and E-bows … effortlessly blend together …” - Oxford Music Scene


Discography

Buried EP
Niesen EP (release date TBC)

Photos

Bio

David Ashbourne founded ‘Samuel Zasada’ in 2006, when he started gigging as a solo act. Many songs, gigs, ups and downs later and he now has a full band, has played gigs all around Oxfordshire and has had many positive reviews (demo of the month from Nightshift and equally kind reviews from Oxfordbands.com)