Zebra Island
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Zebra Island

Tallinn, Harjumaa, Estonia | INDIE

Tallinn, Harjumaa, Estonia | INDIE
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This band has not uploaded any videos

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"ZEBRA ISLAND – ‘SATURNINE’"

‘Saturnine’ is the debut album of the Estonian newcomers Zebra Island. Their musical style could best be described as Pre-historic futurepop, though the dreadful term Dreampop will probably end up as the one that sticks. The expectations run high, as a lot of people have been waiting for this release anxiously.

zebraisland

The band was founded by the talented Rasmus Lill, who despite of his young age has already become an important figure in the Estonian alternative scene due to his impressive work with Kosmofon. After Magnus Morel left, bassist Martti Laas and the drummer Caspar Salo have stepped in to accompany Lauri Raus, a lo-fi guitarist. The quartet is completed by the lovely vocalist Helina Risti.

The first song of the album, ‘Everything Might’, grabs you immediately. Obvious influences such as M83, Bent and even – dare I say – Pia Fraus shine through. With combination of Helina’s vocals and the ethereal ’80s electronic pads it lays a nice foundation of what to come. I‘d heard this track on their Soundcloud site before and my first thought was that they put the best track first, which is quite a risky move. I couldn‘t be more wrong as other tracks do deliver and more so.

The album has been on repeat the last few days in my stereo and my choices of favourite tracks keep changing. I guess that‘s a indication of a solid album, right? At this very moment when writing this the song ‘Glow’ starts and I honestly think this might be the best track of the album with its triplet groove and intriguing chord developments. Quite a pleasant dilemma I‘ve got.

It‘s not a perfect album, don‘t get me wrong. Sometimes the arrangements feel too loose and the music itself is nothing that hasn‘t been done before. The production is though top notch and I‘m quite excited to see where this band will be in few years. With luck and motivation they could be onto something great. That said, this is a indeed contender for the potential summer album of 2013, for me at least. The melodies are great, the vocals are haunting and despite all this retro branding it is quite contemporary. - The Baltic Scene


"ZEBRA ISLAND – ‘SATURNINE’"

‘Saturnine’ is the debut album of the Estonian newcomers Zebra Island. Their musical style could best be described as Pre-historic futurepop, though the dreadful term Dreampop will probably end up as the one that sticks. The expectations run high, as a lot of people have been waiting for this release anxiously.

zebraisland

The band was founded by the talented Rasmus Lill, who despite of his young age has already become an important figure in the Estonian alternative scene due to his impressive work with Kosmofon. After Magnus Morel left, bassist Martti Laas and the drummer Caspar Salo have stepped in to accompany Lauri Raus, a lo-fi guitarist. The quartet is completed by the lovely vocalist Helina Risti.

The first song of the album, ‘Everything Might’, grabs you immediately. Obvious influences such as M83, Bent and even – dare I say – Pia Fraus shine through. With combination of Helina’s vocals and the ethereal ’80s electronic pads it lays a nice foundation of what to come. I‘d heard this track on their Soundcloud site before and my first thought was that they put the best track first, which is quite a risky move. I couldn‘t be more wrong as other tracks do deliver and more so.

The album has been on repeat the last few days in my stereo and my choices of favourite tracks keep changing. I guess that‘s a indication of a solid album, right? At this very moment when writing this the song ‘Glow’ starts and I honestly think this might be the best track of the album with its triplet groove and intriguing chord developments. Quite a pleasant dilemma I‘ve got.

It‘s not a perfect album, don‘t get me wrong. Sometimes the arrangements feel too loose and the music itself is nothing that hasn‘t been done before. The production is though top notch and I‘m quite excited to see where this band will be in few years. With luck and motivation they could be onto something great. That said, this is a indeed contender for the potential summer album of 2013, for me at least. The melodies are great, the vocals are haunting and despite all this retro branding it is quite contemporary. - The Baltic Scene


"REVIEW: ZEBRA ISLAND – SATURNINE (I LOVE YOU RECORDS, 2013)"

I remember very clearly the first time – when and where – I heard Zebra Island. It was a couple of days before Christmas 2011 and I was working late at the office with deadlines about to drop. Feeling tired and train-wreck-y, I decided to look up a nice song to listen to on the internet.



Somebody had just shared a song called „Falling Through“ by some new Estonian band and I decided to give it a listen. And then I listened to it about ten times in a row and just couldn’t fathom who they were, where they came from and why they were so good. I have been waiting for an album ever since. In the meantime I have, of course, found out who makes this music and been to most of their concerts. So far ZI has mainly been a live band for me, since they only had about three songs recorded. This makes the new album Saturnine all the more sweeter – I know what they sound like live and I have always liked that, but now I can give a closer listen without all the additional noise of a live show.

What really makes the album for me, are the vocals by Helina Risti – the sound, timbre and feel varies from song to song, it’s especially surprising in „Dreams“ where she has that lower, sleepier sound that gives you goosepumps of the enjoyable variety. Another thing that makes ZI unique, is definitely the guitarsound by Lauri Raus. It sounds so calm and deep and eternal, at times also unexpected, yet so right. The third and most important side of this triangle is Rasmus Lill and his approach to electronic dance music. Eventhough there are guitars and drums on the stage, it’s the synth that ties it all together, sounding fragile and bright, but also bass-y and deep. Also worth noting is that this band is also very easy on the eye playing live. - Wader


"REVIEW: ZEBRA ISLAND – SATURNINE (I LOVE YOU RECORDS, 2013)"

I remember very clearly the first time – when and where – I heard Zebra Island. It was a couple of days before Christmas 2011 and I was working late at the office with deadlines about to drop. Feeling tired and train-wreck-y, I decided to look up a nice song to listen to on the internet.



Somebody had just shared a song called „Falling Through“ by some new Estonian band and I decided to give it a listen. And then I listened to it about ten times in a row and just couldn’t fathom who they were, where they came from and why they were so good. I have been waiting for an album ever since. In the meantime I have, of course, found out who makes this music and been to most of their concerts. So far ZI has mainly been a live band for me, since they only had about three songs recorded. This makes the new album Saturnine all the more sweeter – I know what they sound like live and I have always liked that, but now I can give a closer listen without all the additional noise of a live show.

What really makes the album for me, are the vocals by Helina Risti – the sound, timbre and feel varies from song to song, it’s especially surprising in „Dreams“ where she has that lower, sleepier sound that gives you goosepumps of the enjoyable variety. Another thing that makes ZI unique, is definitely the guitarsound by Lauri Raus. It sounds so calm and deep and eternal, at times also unexpected, yet so right. The third and most important side of this triangle is Rasmus Lill and his approach to electronic dance music. Eventhough there are guitars and drums on the stage, it’s the synth that ties it all together, sounding fragile and bright, but also bass-y and deep. Also worth noting is that this band is also very easy on the eye playing live. - Wader


Discography

Saturnine (2013, I Love You Records)

Photos

Bio

Forming in autumn 2011, Zebra Island is multi-instrumentalist Rasmus Lill and vocalist Helina Risti, now joined by Lauri Raus (guitars), Caspar Salo (drums) and Magnus Morel (bass).

The band’s music takes cues from dream pop and shoegaze – vivid vocals set against lively synths, beats and low-key guitars. Comparisons have been made to Beach House and M83.

A busy 2012 saw Zebra Island perform at many major festivals in the Baltics, support Zola Jesus at Palladium Riga, and sign a deal with Latvian indie, I Love You Records.
In April 2013 they released their debut album Saturnine. Since then they've been concentrating on their live performance and promoting their album on tours across the Baltics. Zebra Island is now ready to take the next step to new and bigger stages.