NEWS: Zak Younger Banks EP launch @ Little Buildings | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The first release for Newcastle/Glasgow-based songwriter Zak Younger Banks isn’t as straight-forward as many debuts. The tracks for his Wrong Turns EP were written and performed in Newcastle over the last two years, but after experiencing “significant changes” to his life he’s seeking to put a full stop on his more melancholic side.

Even the song titles seem to speak of a change of direction and a desire to move on. All Of My Wrong Turns begins with an almost Lynchian synth wave, softly giving way to finger-picked electric guitar; Forever Moving Mountains is a subtle masterpiece of vocal harmonies that wouldn’t be out of place on a Bon Iver record; while the initial unaccompanied stop/start drone of How Do I Get Through These Nights provides a haunting soundscape for Zak’s evocative vocals.

Zak’s voice conjure the likes of expressive songwriters like Jeff Buckley and Elliot Smith, and the themes are easily recognisable ones of love and loss, but it’s the arrangements that set them apart from standard singer-songwriter fare. Currently studying trad music in Glasgow, Zak’s arrangements are more contemporary; ambient synths fuse with intricate finger-picking and softly sung lyrics. “As a trad guitarist I try to use jazz theory to inform my harmony, and this carries across in my songs too. I’ve also started to listen to more electronic music and using more synths and samples has definitely shaped my sound, even when I’m not using them.” He explains.

Zak performs songs from the EP as well as new tracks at Little Buildings, Newcastle on Friday 15th June.


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