Vinegar Mother
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Vinegar Mother

Cos Cob, CT | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Cos Cob, CT | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock




"Top Tracks: Vinegar Mother – Moon Tomb"

Not content to blur the lines between genres, Vinegar Mother go a step further and erase the lines entirely. ‘Moon Tomb’, taken from their upcoming debut PHASES out June 8th, is a law unto itself, a world where anything goes. There’s so much going on here that it will take you a couple of listens to soak it all in. With slick soulful vocals, tripped out psychedelic soundscapes, funky flourishes, jazzy piano, and even intricate math rock riffs, this wonderfully eclectic single hits you with everything in the band’s arsenal. It is one of those songs that seems to defy the laws of physics; you wonder how it’s possible to cram so much music into such a short space of time? With one of the most unique and diverse sounds I’ve heard in recent years, Vinegar Mother certainly have a lot to offer. - Belwood Music

"PREMIERE: Vinegar Mother Shares Delightfully Spacey Debut Record, ‘PHASES’"

In a sonically inspiring middle group where space rock and jazz fusion meet, you’ll find Vinegar Mother, the high-octane quintet hailing from Brooklyn, NY. Coming together in 2015, the lineup is comprised of Julia Zivic (vocals/lyrics), Itamar Gov-Ari (keyboard), Jason Zivic (drums), Mike Roninson (bass), with Chris Mazuera joining as lead guitarist late last year. Today, Live For Live Music is pleased to share their debut record, PHASES, ahead of its official release tomorrow.

For PHASES, the band wanted to keep true to a collaborative spirit and they revel in their ability to meld genres seamlessly. Take the opening track, “Moon Tomb,” for example; from the get-go, Vinegar Mother pulls the listener in with a groovy, R&B atmosphere, but by the 3rd track, “NEXUS,” they’ve gone and added spacey electronic elements. “Palm Sweat,” the album’s 5th track is a breezy first-date anthem for the modern millennial, as Zivic’s sultry vocals croon “Palm sweat / I’m in debt / I’m in a dilemma I just do not get.” “Shame” is reminiscent of Hiatus Kaiyote with elements of prog-rock elevating the band’s individual style.
Throughout the record, Zivic’s powerhouse vocals swirl above the virtuoso talents of the band. The themes and lyrics on PHASES are definitely clever and encapsulates the human experience in modern times.

Zivic shares: “In PHASES, Vinegar Mother believes it has a perfect blend of impressive instrumentation and honest emotion. The band would like all to journey through the album in song order to hear the interesting transitions and thoughtful flow of PHASES. In that way, Vinegar Mother hopes each composition reaches out to the listener and invites them inside the world of the leading lady. The lyrics, the musicality, and the ever-changing mood will hopefully make you go through ‘phases’ of your own.”

For more information on Vinegar Mother, and for a list of upcoming tour dates, head to the band’s website. - Live For Live Music


A few weeks back, Impose Magazine had the good fortune of premiering “Moon Tomb,” the lead single off of powerhouse soul band Vinegar Mother‘s debut album, PHASES. The LP saw release last week and to celebrate, we had the band break it down for us "track by track".

“Moon Tomb”

Lyrically​: This title was originally thought of by our keyboardist Itamar Gov-Ari before the song was even written. Upon hearing it, it definitely sparked an idea in my head. I enjoy writing about love, but I also like writing about my inner world, including downfalls in my personality. This song is about my love for solitude, that sometimes feels like an obsession. Once the moon comes up, I lock myself away. Others go out, and I prefer to stay in. I look at the moon every night with a silent kinship, knowing we’ll be staying put, but still pushing and pulling energy throughout the world.

Musically:​ Musically this song was an amalgamation of our influences. We drew from R&B influence on a back beat based verse and chorus and catapulted into psychedelic territory in the bridge in order to truly encapsulate the meaning of the lyrics and the song. We were very conscious of how we wanted the bridge to sound when recording and meticulously planned our use of synth pads, reverb, and reversed vocals


Lyrically​: An old man tried to kiss me at Tompkins Square Park in New York City. When I pushed him away he spat on me, all over my shirt and face. After getting to a safe spot, I took my notebook out and wrote this poem that eventually made its way into the melody of ‘King.’ Power is the cause of so much mental strife and trauma for everyone. You are not more powerful than others because you’re a man. You’re not more powerful than others because you’re rich, or pretty, or college educated; these are just things that we as a culture have made into our truth. So the song is a message to men, and anyone who’s ever wounded someone’s heart or body due to their illusion of power.

Musically:​ Originating in a very laid back trio writing session/rehearsal, this song was created at a time when members of the band were listening to a lot of the duo “Mehliana”. We Ended up translating the idea of the limitation of playing left hand synth bass into a full band by adjusting the chorus into a bass line that floats between half time and normal time and drums that float between normal time and double time. The song explodes by the end of the bridge and last chorus, but tames itself at the outro just in time in order to transition into Nexus.


Lyrically:​ Nexus is about a complex relationship between a child and parent, including the complications that come with holding close our independence, authority, respect and growth in such an intimate relationship. But the chorus makes sure to address that sometimes we say things we don’t mean, but deep down we know in our souls that the love we have for each other is deep and unwavering. The repetition of ‘in my soul’ is to remind myself and the listener to look within to find the truth and love when you feel anger and resentment.

Musically:​ Sonically and structurally this song is a juxtaposition of an experimental verse based on a broken beat and a synth arpeggiator pallet and a chorus that borrows influence from 60’s doo-wop and pop music. The end of the song’s introduction of B3 organ the backing vocals provide the bed for Julia to soar over and truly engrave the lyrics on to the song. Fun fact, this song gets its title and some of its spacey aesthetic from Itamar and Jason’s epic Starcraft battles… The working title of it was Protoss but we decided Nexus was a more fitting name.


Lyrically:​ Oh-So-Typical ex boyfriend song! Wahhh! He kept coming back into my damn head!! Get outta there!! New York City is small and I felt like I saw him around every corner! Waahhh! WOE IS ME!!!

Musically:​ We had used odd meter time signatures in our Debut EP “The Sunny Seat” and while we don’t intentionally try to have one in each release, this one happened naturally. The choruses and bridge both have two bars of 7/4 consecutively which don’t truly feel odd. This was one of the first songs in our newer direction after our EP was finished recording and we had a blast writing it together. While recording it we found a Rhodes sound that was very reminiscent of an 80’s DX7 patch, but still retained the growl of a real electric piano. This was a nice compromise of the analog sound we love but also the spacey theme we go for on this song and album as a whole.

“Palm Sweat//Proximity”

Lyrically:​ Palm Sweat is about a dilemma I had with commitment. I used to be a very guarded lady. I loved the rush of getting to know someone, but would quickly get bored. I think a lot of it had to do with me not checking my ego, and just wanting everyone to know who I was. So I jumped from man to man thinking the next one would be different. I got myself into quite the predicament with the constant heartbreak. Most of the time you just gotta look within to solve the problem, ya know?

Musically:​ Palm Sweat was another song that came about from a trio writing session when the band had just finished recording our debut EP. The big idea of the song was to mostly jump around chords in space of thirds, and introduce borrowed chords from other keys during the chorus and bridge in order to create contrast. We also consciously broke up the chorus with some hits that line up with the vocal although the chorus can still break into a groove as demonstrated in the second chorus. Proximity started out as a simple interlude idea when we all agreed we wanted something that sounded like it but couldn’t quite vocalize what it would be. It was just one of those moments that the music spoke for us when our words couldn’t.

“Forget You”

Lyrically:​ One time we got heckled when performing this song live. I said “This song is called Forget You.” and a guy in the audience yelled “I ALREADY DID!!!.” That was a really fun time for us. Anyway, this song isn’t actually about forgetting a person, but rather forgetting a depressive mindset. It’s really a therapeutic song for me, especially when I feel myself seeping back into a dangerous mental state. It seemed easier for me to confront something as serious as depression by personifying it. When you listen to this song, just think about breaking free from whatever weakens you.

Musically:​ This was a song that started out as something completely different than what we put on the album. We had written the verse and chorus and ended up completely discarding the chorus and re-harmonizing it with a brand new chord progression, which breathed new life into the song. The bridge is a section for us when we often stretch out live. While recording it we were very into Pink Floyd, specifically Rick Wright’s synth sounds and tried to emulate that in the synth solo while still retaining Itamar’s natural tendencies and sensibilities.


Lyrically:​ This song is about the government, and the shameful corruption that’s been revealed through so many politicians. It’s definitely a more aggressive song than some we’ve written. But with the way we collaborate, I feel like it was anger we all needed to release in the moment.

Musically:​ Our previous guitarist Paulie turned the feedback knob of his delay pedal all the way up one time at the end of band practice and thank god Jason didn’t let him turn it back down before playing a beat behind it… As a result of a happy accident, this song was born. It’s sonically the heaviest song we have written with extremely heavy distortion, buzzy synths and distorted piano. It’s often a crowd favorite and has a life of it’s own as we often extend the end into an atmospheric space jam.

“Tired Tongue”

Lyrically:​ I wrote this song in my room after a big fight with a family member. It’s about the way I projected a lot of my depression onto friends and family in forms of anger. I would wallow alone and wait for it to just pass. This song, like Nexus, ends with a mantra of “you’ll be lighter soon.” Even when I felt as low as I did, I wrote songs and mantras to help myself out of the ugly personas that would take over in the heat of many moments. This song may be the most important one to me.

Musically:​ A demo that Julia recorded in her room was the spark that ignited this song. We spiced up the song with new chords and a bridge, but had to strike a fine balance of adding to the piece but not overcomplicating it as the original version held so much beauty and raw emotion to it. The purpose of the arrangement is to accent the source material and we straddled a fine line, doing our best to use synthesizer LFO’s, delay feedback and reversed reverberated vocals in order to evoke emotion.


Lyrically:​ As we move into adulthood you start to lose a lot of friends you thought you’d have forever. It definitely makes you feel alone. Whether it’s a big dramatic break, or just a natural fade, you have to learn to let go and deal with the fact that life is ever changing.

Musically:​ In terms of structure, harmony, and sound pallet this is the song that we all agree is the simplest but also gets the point across. Itamar brought in a chord progression to a rehearsal and we very intuitively wrote the chorus and bridge within a matter of about an hour. We wanted to write an R&B influenced tune but to keep it simple and we feel like we did that with this song. The most complex section of this song is the bridge and it’s previewed in the beginning after the transition from Tired Tongue.

Lyrically:​ I grew up in a very spiritual household, and to this day hold that upbringing close to my heart. Saint Cecilia is the patroness of music, composition, and writing. I feel like she always walks life’s path with me, especially when performing and writing. I wear jewelry in memory of her as well as have tattoos mentioning her as well. She’s a big part of my life, and so is this song. It’s an ode to her and her badass story.

Musically:​ Rhythmically, this song was an adventure for us. We experimented with 12/8 feel which was something we hadn’t done before that point. The chord progression of the chorus is so amorphous with it’s key changes and chromaticism but still ends itself well to Julia’s blues inspired vocal melody. In the bridge we had a blast layering vocals in the studio and arranging the section to sound just right. Each member really pushed themselves on this song and it was a stepping stone for us musically. It was a lot of fun for us to play outside of our comfort zone. - IMPOSE Magazine

"EXCLUSIVE! "Moon Tomb" by Vinegar Mother"

Today’s exclusive song comes from a soul-rock quintet whose singer has a sublimely smooth vocal. You’re going to love them

Psychedelic soul-rock quintet Vinegar Mother have been wowing audiences from Brooklyn to Burlington with their excellent live performances, and now they’re here exclusively for you.

The track they have for you is called Moon Tomb and of the song, Julia Zivic has this to say: “I feel happiest when the sun goes down and I can be alone with my thoughts. I always look at the moon late at night and feel a silent kinship.”

They’ve been compared to Hiatus Kaiyote, Erykah Badu,and Amy Winehouse. Check out Moon Tomb and see who they remind you of… - Songwriter Magazine


Impose Magazine first heard from the soulful quintet Vinegar Mother back in the fall of 2016 with their “Sunny Seat” video. Since then, the band has gone on to make a name for themselves in the north-eastern live circuit led by Julia Zivic’s stunning vocals and the group’s dynamic, kaleidoscopic instrumentals.

Now, Vinegar Mother are getting ready to release a follow-up to their Sunny Seat EP, PHASES, out later this spring. We’re bringing you the exclusive premiere of the album’s first single, “Moon Tomb,” today.

On the track, Vinegar Mother brilliantly blend elements of psych, soul, R&B and funk into cosmic stew of hazy, lovelorn sounds. It’s bold, layered initial entry into the world of PHASES signaling that the band is ready to take the next leap ahead.

“I feel happiest when the sun goes down and I can be alone with my thoughts,” shares Julia. “I always look at the moon late at night and feel a silent kinship.”

Stream Vinegar Mother’s “Moon Tomb” and be sure to catch them at any of their upcoming tour dates detailed below. - IMPOSE Magazine

"Powerhouse Soul Band Vinegar Mother Shares New Single “Slow” [Premiere]"

Soul outfit Vinegar Mother continues to impress with their potent display of musicality, dominating their live performances with an undeniably raw and powerful energy. As the band has been making a name for themselves, they’ll be cementing this reputation with their debut EP, The Sunny Seat, due out on November 18th.

The band’s natural chemistry is fully apparent in their music, mixing elements of soul, jazz, R&B and more to create something wholly unique. With the new album coming out next week, we’re honored to help build the anticipation with a brand new single. Titled “Slow,” the song starts off calmly before erupting behind Julia Zivic’s powerhouse lead vocals.

Says Zivic, “‘Slow’ is a closer look into the lustful side of me; the more animalistic side that has a hunger to feel good with zero strings attached. As a hyper-emotional lady, this side of me was always so confusing. I wouldn’t understand why I would want to be closer to some of my romances. ‘Slow’ is a journey through my phases of lust, and how they make me feel so unlike myself. As the song goes, “then the thoughts come back around / memories of my delusion / I can’t think of my own name / I’m stuck in hallucination.” There’s a darker persona that lurks inside of me, and it’s definitely brought out by this awesomely dark sounding song.” Listen to “Slow” in the player below!

The new album The Sunny Seat is due out on November 18th, and pre-orders will be launched via iTunes and Google Play on November 8th. Anyone who pre-orders the album will get instant access to download the song “Cat Call,” and the full release will be here before you know it! To celebrate, the band is hitting Radio Bean in Burlington, VT for their album release party, so don’t miss out.

You can scope the band’s full tour schedule below, and head to their website for more information.

Vinegar Mother Tour Dates
11/8: Gold Sounds – Brooklyn, NY
11/18: Radio Bean – Burlington, VT *Release Show*
11/30: Pianos – New York, NY
12/7: Studio at Wbster Hall Opening for The Lonely Biscuits - Live For Live Music

"VINEGAR MOTHER, “SUNNY SEAT” { Overwhelmed with the beauty of the scenery and colors. }"

Brooklyn’s jazz-meets-indie rock collective Vinegar Mother – comprised of Julia Zivic (guitar, vocals), Itamar Gov-Ari (guitar, keyboard), Jason Zivic (drums), Chris Stelluti (tenor sax), and Mike Roninson (bass) – has been hard at work on their debut EP, The Sunny Seat, due out next month. We’ve got the exclusive premiere of the video for “Sunny Seat” right here.

Exquisitely shot, the video overlays shots of the band playing in what looks to be a living room in the city with shots of a woman who is basking in the glow of the sunny seat on a train, looking distraught for a majority of the video. She is clearly dealing with heartbreak, trying to keep herself together with the warmth of the sun – and her winter coat – in the desolate cold of the big city. Anyone who has lived in New York City can relate to the sentiment in the song, which makes it all the more impressive. The song matches the video to a perfect T, and we’re overwhelmed with the beauty of the colors and scenery displayed.

The band had quite a bit to say about the track itself.

“Sunny Seat” actually started off as a journal entry for me. I was writing on the subway after a bad falling out with one of my longest best friends. As I wrote, I noticed a rhythm happening and decided to keep it going. It was 6am, I was on my way to work on the G train, and as we went over the bridge, the sun hit me directly in the face. I was comforted by its warmth, but the unbearable feeling of loss remained. I remember writing about how desperate I was to get home to Itamar and Jay and make a song out of these emotions I had. This song and its natural coming about means a whole lot to me. It cuts me deep every time we perform it. – Julia

I was really excited to work with Jason and Julia on a riff I wrote during another rehearsal. This song came at the right time, it was a fresh breath of air and a new sound for us. I was really excited to explore new sonics with chord voicing/textures we haven’t used before. – Itamar

The first time we went over this song in rehearsal I thought it was called “The Sunny Sea”. Writing this song came at a time in our musical partnership (Itamar, Julia and myself) when we were beginning to find our new sound. Exploring the sound felt good, and Itamar was able to push me out of my comfort zone with a few rhythmic variations, particularly in the second verse. If not for that little nudge out the door, the song wouldn’t be the song, and Vinegar Mother wouldn’t be Vinegar Mother. – Jason - IMPOSE Magazine

"Vinegar Mother - Rare Candy Interview"

Vinegar Mother
October 18, 2016
Interview by Casey McSherry

Vinegar Mother is a band with a sound too varied for one category. Drawing from progressive, rock, and soul influences, the Connecticut-based band says that "blending genres is everything." Founding members Julia Zivic (lead vox) Jason Zivic (drums) and Itamar Gov-Ari (keys, guitar and vox), with Mike Roninson (bass) all come from different musical backgrounds. Their sound is born out of each members' mutual respect for what everyone brings to the table. Building off the momentum of an increased live presence in the City, the group is set to release their first EP this upcoming November 18th.

RC: What are you trying to create between yourselves and the audience during a live set?

Julia: Emotion, passion, love, a feeling like they can connect, a feeling like they can feel what’s coming off of us as we play. It’s really important to perform close together, to be dancing, to be feeling and hearing the lyrics, to have an audience who respects that we have something we want to put out, and is truly into going through an emotional journey with us, through our live set.

Mike: I want them to know that we’re having fun on stage, and for them to feel like they’re having fun. I feel like a lot of stuff these days is so serious—I want people to have a good time in there. It’s like a party.

Itamar: I’m happy that people get excited over all the nerdy musical moments in there, even if they’re non-musicians. That’s my favorite part. I feel like we’ll play some stuff that’s really worked out, and I’ll wonder who will notice it, and then like 3 people will notice it, who will be the 3 people I didn’t think would notice it.

RC: When did you start creating together?

Julia: About five years ago under the name Julia Zivic and the Brothers, and it was pretty funny. It was my middle-school folk music that I wrote and I brought to them. They made it better and bigger, and put it in a band setting. There was a moment when we said “I think we can move on from this” because we all wanted more of a band-feel, not just “Julia Zivic and them” you know? They were doing so much work, and we wanted to be more of a collective, so we ended up starting this project Vinegar Mother, and from there it just took off because we finally had the vibe that we wanted, and it’s just so much better this way, we love it.

Itamar: It started out with me and Jason in another band with two friends from high school, and at first it was “Oh, Jason’s little sister sings.” and then it was “Oh… Jason’s little sister has PIPES.” She would come home from school and be angry about something and I would show her something I’d written on guitar, and we’d write a song in her kitchen. And then it happened three more times, and then we just kept doing it. And eventually we said “Oh, yeah, this is a band. We should be a band.” And then Mike joined about a year ago. I was subliminally messaging him to join the band for months before he did. Like “Hey Mike how’s it going? Join my band. Do you wanna get lunch and join my band?”

Mike: It was pretty… non-discreet, actually.

RC: How do you deal with categorizing your music?

Julia: Blending genres is everything—you can’t put yourself in one box. Hell no. Gotta blend it. In a blender.

Itamar: We’ve been called “Jazz Fusion” — we said no; I called it “Heavy Soul” and Jason wants to call it “Progressive Soul”— but you know, everyone can call us whatever the hell you want. As long as you like the music… The whole “genre” thing is hard, because every person describes music differently. But some sort of blend between the words “progressive,” “heavy,” and “soul,” without the words “jazz” and “fusion” in there.

Mike: I hear it as like… Neo-Soul RnB but with a little bit of a rock influence behind it kind of like heavier.

RC: Do you feel that social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or SoundCloud adequately express you as a group?

Itamar: I think we’re too ridiculous for social media.

Julia: I usually just put something up there and make it sound exciting and tasteful, just to remind people about shows. A lot of times, stuff doesn’t get a lot of exposure online because platforms like Facebook are so saturated. Facebook is cool, you need it and we use it when we want to. It’s hard on social media lately.

Mike: There are a lot of bands on Facebook.

Julia: Its very saturated, but you gotta stand out somehow.

Mike: I think if people hear us and they realize theres something about us that connects to them personally, that’s more reliable then just them seeing our posts.

RC: Do you have a destination for your band?

Itamar: I mean, I would love to quit my job, one day, and just do this. And not do anything else.
In the next year I would like to be closer to that. It's hard to say “Next year I want to be playing at this size venue," its a hard goal to set for yourself. If we can make incrementally the same progress we’ve made in the past two years, every year, then I think that we’ll be in a really good place in a year. And I think we’ll be in a really good place in five years. The whole thing about being in a band is that you have to be realistic. Because the dream of “Hey I’m gonna be a massive rock Star and be rich as fuck” is not realistic, but if you can make a decent honest living making music you love with your family then what else can you really ask for?

Jason: I think music for me, in general, affects my spiritual progress. So for myself, I want to keep growing with music, on a personal level. And wherever that takes me is where it takes me. But I see good things.

Itamar: …So you’re gonna stay in the band?

Jason: I think so, yeah.

Julia: Can’t escape me, I live in the same house as him.

RC: Ok, fun questions time.

Itamar: Were the last questions not fun?

RC: Have you ever written a song in another language or drawn musical influence from a different culture than yours?

Jason: Yeah, I made a rap song one time in Japanese. In High School with my friend Rui. Its called Damare, Urushendaio.

Mike: In high school I put music to a Russian poem, but I haven’t thought about that in like eight years…

Itamar: I’ve written a couple songs in Hebrew which is my first language, and I’m trying to write more songs in Hebrew, but it’s just a different thing. I’m definitely not ready to play them for people. But at some point maybe they’ll see the light of day.

Julia: No comment.

RC: If you could incorporate an animal sound into your music, what animal would you choose?

Itamar: Giraffe.

Julia: Giraffes make sounds?

Itamar: Everyone knows the giraffe sound.

Jason: A dolphin.

Julia: Boys.

RC: If you could incorporate non musical sounds into your music, what would you want to use?

Itamar: With the voice memos app I’ve recorded so many street sounds and wanted to turn it into things. I threw a clove of garlic at a vase and it made a kind of ‘Ding!’ and I made that into a keyboard patch, and I wanna use that live sometime

Jason: I really like a guy called East Forrest who uses nature samples. I would like it if we could mix urban sounds with nature sounds because we’re all from different backgrounds. - Rare Candy


Comprised of Connecticut-born and Brooklyn-based founding trio Julia Zivic (vocals), her brother Jason Zivic (drums) and Itamar Gov-Ari (keys, guitar vocals), along with Mike Roninson (bass) and Chris Stelluti, Brooklyn-based neo-soul/indie soul/progressive soul quintet Vinegar Mother can actually trace its origins to when its founding trio started performing together under the moniker Julia Zivic and The Brothers. And as Julia Zivic and The Brothers, the trio a level of attention as they played the 2014 Greenwich Town Party Festival on a bill that included the likes of George Clinton, Santana, Buddy Guy and Dr. Dog — and they finished second in that year’s International TalentHouse Jimi Hendrix Competition for their rendition of “Red House.”

As the trio began to increasingly expand upon their sound, the founding trio decided to start anew and recruited bassist Zack Slaughter and Stelluti to record their debut EP as Vinegar Mother; however, shortly after the band formed, the band went through a lineup change that included Roninson replacing Slaughter, who joined the Marines. As Vinegar Mother, the band has developed a reputation locally as they’ve played a number of shows across this fair city — including The Knitting Factory and The Studio at Webster Hall — and along with a CMJ appearance last year, the band has opened for the likes of The Lonely Biscuits, Kat Wright and The Indomitable Soul Band, Joanna Teters and Mad Satta, thanks in part to an easygoing and jazzy take on neo-soul that sounds indebted to 90s Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and others, while possessing an expansive, prog-leaning song structure, as you’ll hear on the band’s latest single “Sunny Seat.”

As Vinegar Mother’s Julia Zivic explained to the folks at Impose, “Sunny Seat,” was inspired by personal experience and a journal entry she had been writing while committing to work. “I was writing on the subway after a bad falling out with one of my longest best friends,” Zivic explained. And as the story goes, as the G train she was on crossed the Gowanus Canal Bridge, the morning sun had hit her directly in the face. While being comforted but the sun’s warmth, Zivic wouldn’t shake the unbearable feeling of loss — and she begun to write portions of the song while on the train. “I remember writing about how desperate I was to get home to Itamar and Jay and make a song out of these emotions I had. This song and its natural coming about means a whole lot to me. It cuts me deep every time we perform it.” So it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that the song while being somewhat upbeat, possesses both a morning commuter’s weariness and a deep, bitter ache.

For the recently released video, Zivic’s vocals narrate and serve as the innermost thoughts and feelings of the video’s protagonist, also played by Zivic. Throughout the video, its protagonist is reminded of the fact that not only do ghosts linger, they are inescapable and find eerie ways to haunt you. And of course, we see Zivic rush back to her bandmates in Brooklyn to ostensibly write the song with an easygoing, cool-self assuredness.

Be on the look out for the band’s debut EP, The Sunny Seat, which is slated for a November 18, 2016 release, followed by a limited cassette release in March 2017 through Invertebrate Records — and for a growing slate of shows locally. Check out dates below. - The Joy Of Violent Movement

"Vinegar Mother - Press Play at CT NOW"

By: Mike Hamad Reporter

Editor's note: Press Play is a column exploring the underground musicians of Connecticut. If you have new music to share, send it to

Vinegar Mother, a jazz-pop-soul quartet from southern Fairfield County, has a few things going for it.

There's Julia Zivic's voice — rich, pitch-perfect, chilly and expressive, capable of flitting between a gentle mid-range vibrato and red-lining a throaty growl.

There are the many talents of Itamar Gov-Ari, a multi-instrumentalist who acts as a sort of musical director and who plays stacks of extended chords through vintage keyboard patches, stringing them together into complex progressions.

You could point to the range of grooves explored by drummer Jason Zivic (Julia's older brother) and bassist Mike Roninson, which fall into deep, slow pockets, occasionally surprising with bursts of gut-punch rock.

The Zivics and Gov-Ari grew up in the tony Greenwich neighborhood of Cos Cob, not far from New York; Roninson hails from Albany, N.Y., and now lives in New York City. In high school, Gov-Ari and Jason played in rock bands. Five years ago, Julia's singing and writing talents started to blossom.

"She was still in high school," Gov-Ari says. "I would be over because Jason and I would be mixing something or just hanging out. She'd be in the kitchen. I'd pick up the guitar and start playing something, she'd start singing. I'd play a new chord progression, and she'd start singing over that. ... It was so easy and effortless."

Gov-Ari had spent a year at Ithaca College as a jazz studies major before enrolling in the studio composition program at SUNY Purchase.

"I kept playing and gigging the whole time I was in school," he says. "I was hiring all the guys in the jazz program, but I still got to play with them."

Early on, Gov-Ari started bringing Julia to gigs in Connecticut and New York. "He had me playing jazz gigs at hotels and clubs when I was 15," Julia says. "I started really enjoying it. We did standards, blues music and fun rock stuff, but jazz really brought me in. It felt right to sing it."

As Julia Zivic and the Brothers, the trio soon released an album of Americana-leaning originals.

"We did folky music, because it was the music I was writing in high school and middle school," Julia says. "It was the easiest music for me to write back then."

She also felt comfortable moving on. Changing the name to Vinegar Mother meant adopting a more democratic dynamic.

"I've written with a lot of people," Gov-Ari says, "people I've wanted to write with and people I've gotten paid to write with. With Julia, there was no discussion: I would play and she would sing over it. It was like, 'Oh, I guess that's a song.' It was supernatural and visceral and impulsive."

Last month Vinegar Mother released "The Sunny Seat," a five-song EP. Roninson, originally from Albany, N.Y., joined more recently (Zack Slaughter plays bass on the EP).

"Slow," built around a tritone and a slinky groove, swells with overdubbed background vocals and horns. Julia channels Susan Tedeschi on "Are You Ready?," to a relaxed groove with cleanly strummed electric guitars, chiming keys and a stop-time chorus.

The title track, "Sunny Seat," alternates passages of 4/4 and 7/8. "I picked the sunny seat on the train / but my mind and body remain the same / the physical emotional train / is terrible, unbearable," Zivic sings, referencing Canal Street and other Gotham locales.

Gov-Ari's expanded harmonic sense rarely chafes against Julia's melodies. "A lot of bands who play around with harmony: if the singer sounds weird over the chords, they'll ask the singer to do something else," Gov-Ari says. "I think if the singer has a good melody that doesn't fit over one of your chords, you should consider changing what you're playing."

"The music we're doing now encompasses our personalities more," Julia says. "It makes us happier, knowing we're all putting in our best efforts."

There's a conscious effort, Gov-Ari continues, to play interesting chord changes, but also to support Julia's vocals.

"At the end of the day, when you listen to a song, the first thing you hear is the vocal melody," Gov-Ari says. "If that doesn't work, the greatest chord progression in the world isn't going to do you any good. There are probably only two songs where Julia sang a weird note and we changed it. Usually we just change what we're playing."

Vinegar Mother is working on a full-length album. There are a few gigs on its schedule (mostly in New York). The band wants to play in Hartford, New Haven and other places in Connecticut, and also to tour, once basic tracking is completed.

NYC looms large in the band's present — Roninson lives there now, and Zivic spends time in the city as she finishes a degree at the Institute of Audio Research — and also its future, maybe.

"I really like New York," Julia says. "I've lived there for a couple of years. It's a great place for music. A lot of our friends, a lot of the bands that we play with and love, all live in New York. It's a big hub for us."

"The city's really expensive," Gov-Ari says. "I'm not ruling it out. It's a question I wrestle with all the time. If we all end up needing to move in, the reason and opportunity will present itself. That's going to be the time to do it."

After graduation, Julia will look for a job as an audio engineer, preferably mixing live sound for other bands.

"It's something me and Jason [also an audio engineer] are both very passionate about," she says. "We're going to try to get our business out there, just mixing some shows and doing some events and networking, while still doing our music, making it work our own way. You can do that when you're in a band."

You can hear Vinegar Mother on Bandcamp. Their website is - CTNow (Hartford Courant)


Still working on that hot first release.



Vinegar Mother - A Progressive / Psychedelic Soul Band

Vinegar Mother
 is carving their own niche, on the east coast's live music circuit.  The psychedelic soul-rock quintet has been finding fans from Brooklyn to Burlington, and everywhere in between.  PHASES, the band's Debut Full-Length is available on the band’s BandCamp Page, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Deezer & More.  PHASES is the follow-up to the band’s debut EP, “The Sunny Seat” released in late 2016. 

Vinegar Mother just released a 22min Short Film entitled, "Live at Blueberry Drive". LBD features live versions of Nexus, Palm Sweat, Tired Tongue, Cecilia, & Moon Tomb from "PHASES".

"Moon Tomb” (1st Single from PHASES) - Belwood Music / James Fenney"...There’s so much going on here that it will take you a couple of listens to soak it all in. With slick soulful vocals, tripped out psychedelic soundscapes, funky flourishes, jazzy piano, and even intricate math rock riffs, this wonderfully eclectic single hits you with everything in the band’s arsenal. It is one of those songs that seems to defy the laws of physics; you wonder how it’s possible to cram so much music into such a short space of time? With one of the most unique and diverse sounds I’ve heard in recent years, Vinegar Mother certainly has a lot to offer."

"Moon Tomb" was Premiered on IMPOSE Magazine ("Single") & Songwriting Magazine ("Video").

Vinegar Mother has performed with: Tedeschi Trucks BandPreservation Hall Jazz BandRevVKat WrightSmalltalkerHarsh ArmadilloJUPTRBandBroca’s AreaMaxoMiloAnna Wise,  Joanne TetersThe Lonely BiscuitsOnyx CollectiveOSHUNAfter FunkWest End BlendJazze BelleThe FritzAubrey HaddardThe New ReviewWoolly MammalsMadam West, & More..

Music Conferences and Festivals:
Greenwich Town Party (2018) 1 Day. 12 Bands. 8,000 People (CT)
Mondo Music Festival & Tech Summit (2017) at Rockwood Music Hall (NYC)
10th Annual Boston Green Fest (2017)at Boston City Hall (MA)
Burlington Jazz Festival (2017) at Radio Bean (VT)
Summer’s End Music Festival (2016) at AVIV (Brooklyn)
CMJ Music Marathon (2015) at Muchmore’s (Brooklyn)

Band Members