Zoey Van Goey
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Zoey Van Goey

Band Alternative Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Quick Hitters: Zoey Van Goey"

his morning I was running on vapors. It’s hard enough to plug away on a keyboard when the music you want to gush about is creative and inspiring, but when the release pile hits the typical year end slump, sifting through the discs is almost like a punishment.

Thankfully, I remembered I still hadn't mentioned Glasgow outfit Zoey Van Goey or their debut full length, The Cage Was Unlocked All Along. The twee-popping trio is a collection of ex-pats (of Canadian, Irish and English descent) that like so many other bands, started by chance at college and the rest as they say, is theirstory.

It almost sounds too typical on the surface – three nerdy kids meeting randomly while looking for the film library on campus – but when you digest the sounds and realize the talent the band exudes, you know you have found something special. I mean, how often would Stuart Murdoch or Paul Savage get involved with a debut record (both worked on the production) or how often do you find a trio of musicians with no real “band” experience playing with some of the most exciting bands in Europe (Frightened Rabbit, God Help the Girl)?

But as much as the trio will be lumped with the people that turned knobs on the record or the musicians they associate with, their take on summery pop for the thick horn rimmed, literary types has a bite. Sure, the beautiful melodies float along warming the hearts of all that hear, but The Cage Was Unlocked All Along is full of random noises and instruments that add that extra depth a lot of twee outfits neglect. Xylophones, ramshackle percussion and banjo add depth to the tracks, but so do the quirky, dark subjects Moore sings about.

Whether it’s a poppy ditty about people afraid to go outside in case some bad happens that they can’t afford or holing up in the basement instead of facing robots that should have taken over the world when the ball dropped on the year 2000, the band consistently offers more than lovesick tales and melancholic reflections. Bottom line, there's a reason the band is already on every critics lips across the pond and the members are being asked to fill the gaps when bands hit the road... they are talented and write songs you can't shake from your head. - Hero Hill

"Album Review (Music OMH)"

Hadrian's Wall was built to prevent raids from the fearsome Scottish Pictish tribes. Ask Mel Gibson about Scottish culture and he'll probably grab another bottle of whiskey, paint his face blue and start waving a stick about like a maniac. Assuming that he's not already in that state when you raise the issue.
Zoey Van Goey couldn't be more at odds with this view of all things Scottish if they tried. As with fellow countrymen Belle and Sebastian, theirs is a world of sweet heavy knit cardigans, sunshine and fluffy bunny rabbits. Yep, another twee band from Glasgow - it must be something they put in the water up there.

Not that we're complaining, of course, for this is fine stuff indeed. The Belle And Sebastian comparisons are obvious but not entirely unjustified, seeing as Stuart Murdoch produced their first single. But more of that later.

For a band that later reveals itself to have a fairly sunny disposition it seems a peculiar choice to start your debut album on a downbeat number, but that's just what Zoey Van Goey do. The Best Treasure Stays Buried's plaintive guitars quiver quietly behind a sweet vocal from Kim Moore who constantly reminds us to "remember it'll all blow over".

And blow over it does as the band find their stride with We Don't Have That Kind of Bread. Rather than a tale of an awkward customer in a bakery, it tells the story of a couple who can't leave their house for fear of getting kidnapped and not being able to afford the ransom. It a subject that most bands would explore in a fidgety coke driven paranoiac state, but in the hands of Zoey Van Goey it's practically a nursery rhyme. The clever lyrics and an irresistible chorus hook calls to mind the much missed Dogs Die In Hot Cars - really a bigger compliment than you might think.

We All Hid In Basements is an apocalyptic yarn which finds our new favourite band cowering in their basement amongst stacks of baked beans praying to Super Mario for a miracle as the machines take over. Ten years ago, this song would have been billed as pre-millennial angst but now it sounds like the Terminator franchise with characters knitted by your mum. It stands out by being one of the few songs here that makes full use of the male/female vocals the band employs while also changing tack instrumentally to embrace a bit of glitchy electronica.

Foxtrot Vandals, the Murdoch-produced single, races off with that indie-drum beat that permeated every song with slightly dancey pretentions in the late '80s, sounding like a skittish version of Funky Drummer. It's the only song here with a zing in its step, the lush vocals and dainty keyboards propelled with a percussive itch that the band can't quite scratch. Murdoch's production has a light touch and allows the band to breathe - if attention wasn't drawn to his name, you'd barely know he was there.

Foxtrot Vandals may be the most uptempo song here but Zoey Van Goey hardly have feet of clay. It's just that they can quite happily sit in a mid-paced groove and charm you with their intelligence and honeyed pop. There probably isn't a song here that you won't find echoing around your head at some point, distracting us from our chores. For that reason alone we should probably rebuild that wall, for Zoey Van Goey could destroy what's left of our already fragile economy south of the border. Maybe Mel Gibson can make that movie. - MusicOMH.com

"Album Review (The Skinny)"

Glasgow-based three-piece Zoey van Goey seem to have been about forever (that’s not a name you’re likely to forget), yet their recordings have been minimal. While ‘hotly anticipated’ might be a slightly hyperbolic term to describe this album, the band held their own with a packed tent as REM headlined T in the Park's main stage last summer; they’ve certainly set tongues wagging. Happily, The Cage Was Unlocked All Along doesn’t disappoint. This is intelligent, humorous, pleasant twee-pop that, from the well-crafted song structures to the wonderful cover art, possesses the warmth and attention to detail of an authentic indie collector's item. A history of involvement with Stuart Murdoch is reflected in a palpable B&S influence, but rather than being mere pastiche, ZvG have a pronounced sound of their own. Lead single We Don’t Have That Kind of Bread stands out on an excellent album that could ably soundtrack any (admittedly rare) sunny day in Glasgow. - The Skinny

"Album Review (Muso's Guide)"

Having been compared to the likes of The Postal Service and Belle & Sebastian (the latter justifiable in that this lot’s debut single, Foxtrot Vandals was produced by Stuart Murdoch), Zoey Van Goey have created an altogether intriguing noise for themselves. The Cage Was Unlocked All Along, is their debut album, and sees the trio proficient in creating an album spanning realms of both catchy folk-pop, and sombre yet buoyant melodies.

Opening track, ‘The Best Treasure Stays Buried’, begins on a somewhat solemn tone (the opening three chords would have little difficulty backing a scene in a teen drama), eventually picking up more of a rolling timbre that leads nicely into the succeeding track, ‘We Don’t Have That Kind of Bread’.

No, this one’s not concerned with baked goods choices; but rather the trepidation of a dozing couple that fear being abducted for ransom. It’s much more of a foot tapper, and has a gratifying, kitschy tone that will permeate a day.
‘Sweethearts in Disguise’, begins with the beguiling falsetto of a xylophone, adding to what is often a fairly childlike album. The track ticking with electronic blips and radar reverb, with its bittersweet melodies eventually building to an ensemble crescendo.

While some tracks may be slightly plodding in their attack, they often contain nuances of lyrical delight. ‘We All Hid in Basements’, a light stomp concerning the millennium bug hysteria proclaiming, “we would have to kneel before the wrath of the machines/so we all hid in basements and we stockpiled the baked beans”?. Also on ‘With Two White Gloves’, which contains: “do you remember how me met/paying off our student debt/we had no other plans/ so we taught English in Japan”?. Notions that will be familiar to many, seemingly obvious choices, yet they later delve into more cerebral issues.

The band’s debut single, ‘Foxtrot Vandals’ slams open like 10,000 Maniacs live, with a harmonic style similar to that of early REM. It’s an illuminating example of the bands ability to write catchy pop and is bolstered by the production of Stuart Murdoch.

Many tracks, such as ‘Cotton Covering’ are superb. Beginning simply but slowly building, the subtlety of an accordion adding a refreshing change from the synths which had previously provided an ethereal backdrop to the songs.

For the majority of the album, vocals are fulfilled by Kim Moore, with harmonic duties being carried out by the other band members. The tone is pleasing. Final song, ‘City is Exploding’, being a good example of this. Harking back to more traditional folk, reminiscent of the delicacy of Jacqui McShee and John Renbourne.

The album is very good. Slumbering tracks fitting nicely between faster, catchier ditties. The mood sways from still to racing. Lets hope it’s not too long before we hear more from this delightfully appealing three. - Muso's Guide

"Album Review (The List)"

Originally self-released back in May to limited exposure, this debut album from eclectic and endlessly imaginative Glasgow-based Canadian, Irish and English boy-girl trio Zoey Van Goey deservedly gets a second, bigger bite of the cherry after being picked up by Chemikal Underground.

The band’s frothy indie pop tendencies are best encapsulated by the janglesome ‘Foxtrot Vandals’, produced by Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch. ‘We All Hid in Basements’ – a tale of love on the eve of the apocalypse that builds into a crashing, widescreen rock out – and twinkling folktronica gem ‘Sweethearts in Disguise’ are just two more standouts among many on a wonderful and wonderfully realised record. - The List

"Album Review (Direct Current Music)"

Glasgow-based folk/pop trio Zoey Van Goey may have a twee nerdy charm just below the surface of their clever, often lyrically surreal and quietly mindblowing debut album The Cage Was Unlocked All Along, but we're certainly the better for it. Jangly guitars, electronica flourishes and the lovely vocals of Kim Moore bring an undeniable sunny disposition to the shiny surface of the ZVG mystique but beneath the well-mannered charm there's a deeper, darker subversive element bleeding through. There are songs of apocolyptic computer meltdowns and teaching English in Japan, romantic ballads of kidnapping, bandits and buried treasure. Described by one critic as "cuddlecore", this is music that seems to intersect somewhere between a smile and a grimace, smart songs that bring you back to reveal something new and interesting with each listen.

The threesome's first single, 2007's "Foxtrot Vandals" was produced by Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch and moves at a brisk trot, all strum and propulsive, shimmering kick. But with producer Paul Savage at the helm -- and with many more months of writing and studio work -- Cage ended up veering off into more shadowy and daring territory: quieter, pulsing with electronics and decidedly more studied in tone. Songs such as the delicately structured "City Is Exploding" and the chiming, atmospheric "The Best Treasure Stays Buried" seem to drift with a languid nonchalance but the razor-edged lyrics - and Moore's wonderfully cryptic singing - keep the imagery and lovingly crafted melodies in sharp focus. Cage, released independently by the band in June just got wider U.K. distribution today and is available as an import. Highly recommended. - Direct Current Music

"Album Review (Glasswerk Scotland)"

‘The Cage Was Unlocked All Along’ is the debut album from Glaswegian trio Zoey Van Goey, who if you haven’t heard them before, possess a certain quality that seems to make you instantly fall in love with them and their quirky, awkward indie-based sound. So quaint and gentle are the tracks that they almost transport the listener back to the innocence of childhood, and if this doesn’t do it for you, then you clearly had a rough childhood and its probably best not to discuss in a music review. Get help.

Perhaps it’s the beautifully petal-soft vocal of keyboardist Kim Moore that is responsible for invoking these connotations, but combined with the hypnotic strum of guitar and the tip-toeing of the keys, Zoey van Goey make it incredibly easy for the listener to get dragged into a world of peace, love and a manner of similar things that I don’t normally have the patience for. Undeniably likeable from start to finish, The Cage Was Unlocked All Along wisely refrains from sticking to the beaten path of lullaby music with meaningful lyrics and as a result, blossoms into a varied record on the whole. Whilst tracks like ‘Nae Wonder’ , ‘Cotton Covering’ and ‘City Is Exploding’ fly the flag for blissful melodies; more upbeat, and at times, urgent sounding tracks like ‘Sweethearts In Disguise’, ‘We All Hid In Basements’ and ‘Foxtrot Vandals’ ensure that The Cage Was Unlocked All Along as a record, proves itself as varied and exciting, whilst still managing to maintain some sort of band identification.

If you’re prepared to let the delicate, emotional side of your character shine, then Zoey Van Goey are definitely a worthy band that will not disappoint with this fantastically mature debut long-player. - Glasswerk Scotland)

"Album Review (NME)"

In a city where Buckfast-wielding neds roam through the streets in packs, it’s good to know
a Glasgow-based band like Zoey Van Goey can flourish, with their nice cardigans, nice fruit teas and other nice things. This cuddlecore trio have learnt from their city’s past forays into twee, adopting sugary boy/girl harmonies (‘We Don’t Have That Kind Of Bread’), ornate strings (‘The Best Treasure Stays Buried’) and the odd kooky tale (‘Two White Ghosts’). Thankfully, this is charming folk-pop as Brooklyn’s The Essex Green see it, not the same demented world Belle And Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch inhabits.

Ash Dosanjh

"Album Review (Subba Cultcha)"

Delightfully experimental indie.
Like the set-up to an outdated seventies joke, the members of 'Zoey Van Goey' hail from Canada, Ireland and England but found each other and honed their gorgeous sound in Glasgow. Debut single 'Foxtrot Vandals' has seen the light in the form of a vinyl release and the BBC came calling soon after. Their debut album 'The Cage Was Unlocked All Along' is a light jaunt through a number of lo-fi genres from the dreamy and dreary (The Best Treasure Stays Buried) to up front pop standards (We Don't Have That Kind Of Bread) and onwards throughout an experimental album full of delights. A band so easy to fall in love with and not a dodgy punch line in sight. - Subba Cultcha

"Album Review (Is This Music)"

What’s in a name? Zoey Van Goey conjures up images of an American singer-songwriter of a folkish bent, perhaps playing in coffee houses in a Singles or High Fidelity type tale. I only ask this because I had such strange preconceptions conjured before me when I first saw the name, listed as support for Teenage Fanclub late last year. What I was vaguely expecting and what I actually got rather happily turned out to be two rather different creatures. Zoey Van Goey were not a she but rather a group of she’s and he’s who had fetched up in Glasgow from various scattered points around the planet to play rather breathtaking, enchanting and special songs. They certainly turned my head on a winters night when I’d gone to see a band that would take me enjoyably through some of the backpages of my life and record collection, reaffirming rather than surprising. Zoey Van Goey were just the opposite, thrilling me with the sheer potential they possessed, winning a largely virgin audience in a packed venue waiting expectantly for Teenage Fanclub over despite a few nerves being on show. I couldn’t wait to hear more but all I could get my hands on was a rather cool, gig only, C.D., The Acoustic Session, which is lovely but rather than quenching my thirst only whetted my appetite.

Then, at last, the drought is over. Zoey Van Goey’s debut album arrived in my mail. I spent a good while eyeing it up cautiously for I was smitten but nervous. The fetching cartoon sleeve is rather curious and intriguing, folding out over four panels, but would this album live up to my rather high expectations? There was only one way to find out… I had to stop admiring the packaging and pry out what was inside…

Wow! From the gentle atmospherics and chiming guitar of the opening first few moments to the restrained explosions of the final songs climax, this is a rather splendid and special record, ten deserve-to-be-classic songs barely stretching past the half hour mark. With Zoey Van Goey economy is everything though you might not think so given the richness of wares on offer here. The Cage Was Unlocked All Along contains a veritable cornucopia of instruments, sounds, ideas and thrills, yet the pudding is never over-egged. The songs and arrangements are always given room to breath even if the listener is left breathless. Best of all, Zoey Van Goey make it sound so unforced and easy.

The opening song, ‘The Best Treasure Stays Buried’ is an elegant, dreamy exercise in setting a mood as it recasts Bonnie & Clyde in the modern world. Its mellow, pretty and atmospheric with hints of electronic sounds and a viola adding to the songs pretty tune, topped off by female/male vocals. ‘We Don’t Have That Kind Of Bread’ in contrast, is more jaunty and airy, a quirky, catchy pop song with a nifty instrumental breakdown and a darker undercurrent to those beguiling voices. ‘Sweethearts In Disguise’ is a clever mix of the fragile and the robust with a spacey, cool finale bringing an initially intricate, subtle song to a thrilling climax.

If the first three songs deal with the fragile nature of love in the modern world, ‘We All Hid In Basements’ takes the subject of the apocalypse by its horns. It’s a frail, at times skeletal song in parts before building into an epic racket, from a whisper to (almost) a scream and then back again with some great lyrics that highlight the ways in which we fear that the end of the world is almost always just around the corner:

When will the end come?
The TV says it’s on the way
The same news since I was young.

Despite the nightmarish images portrayed in parts of the song there is a real sweetness in places as well.

‘Two White Ghosts’ is prettily haunting with its subtle arrangement and sweetly sung words about two strangers who ‘back home’ might hated one another, find themselves thrown together ‘teaching English in Japan’. It has a luscious tune and arrangement combined with a solid rhythm and a distorted guitar soaring and squalling in the background. ‘Foxtrot Vandals’ possesses a big pop sound with a summery feel and a dreamy middle-eight topping things off perfectly, while ‘My Persecution Complex’ has a violent undercurrent tempered by a seductive, flighty tune ending in a warning to ‘Run, run, run away’. As if you could…

‘Nae Wonder’ is a dreamy, spooky duet, full of sublime moments and utterly winning vocals that intertwine and play-off one another in a wonderful way, interspersed by a male voice telling a tale in a broad Glaswegian accent about a beautiful woman who ‘jist wants to look at you and your hers’ before telling us ‘Nae wonder ah often sing tae maself’’. ‘Cotton Covering’ is the most folky song on the album. It’s a gorgeous, floaty, buoyant song, full of joy. The final song, ‘City Is Exploding’ was, for me, the standout song last year in a set of standout songs and it sounds as wonderful captured on record as it was live. It’s a mainly gentle, slow paced song that occasionally threatens to burs - Is This Music


2007: Foxtrot Vandals 7" (Say Dirty Records)
2008: Sweethearts in Disguise 7" (Say Dirty / Lucky Number Nine)
2009: The Cage Was Unlocked All Along (Left in the Dark/Chemikal Underground Records)



Zoey Van Goey is a band made up of Matt Brennan, Michael John McCarthy, and Kim Moore. Hailing from Canada, Ireland, and England respectively, they met in Glasgow, Scotland, and started making music together in 2006.

Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian produced the band's debut single, "Foxtrot Vandals", released in October 2007. Their second single, "Sweethearts In Disguise," followed in June 2008 in the midst of a summer tour of the Scottish festival circuit, including Rockness, T In The Park, Wickerman, Indietracks, Live at Loch Lomond, and Connect. Their debut album, 'The Cage Was Unlocked All Along,' was produced by Paul Savage (Delgados, Phantom Band) and, following a self-release in May, has recently been licensed for a wider release by Chemikal Underground.

In addition to gigging and recording, the band has also been involved in extra-curricular projects including a musical-literary collaboration with Falkirk art-rockers Y'all Is Fantasy Island and novelist Alan Bissett called the Super Puny Humans, as well as composing and performing music (in collaboration with David Paul Jones) for the National Theatre of Scotland in a stage adaptation of the Takeshi Kitano film 'Dolls.'

A few additional facts: Kim once trekked her way through a jungle in Ghana with a machete. Matt had part of his lung surgically removed after a tree fell on him during an ice storm in Montreal. Michael John was a trivia prodigy and regularly appeared on television quiz shows in Ireland throughout his childhood.