[photo by Justina Villanueva]
New York City’s ZVI – the eclectic solo project of Ron Varod from Kayo Dot, Sabbath Assembly, Psalm Zero, So Is The Tongue, and more – presents a special two-song single through Nefarious Industries. Both new tracks, including the A-side original track “Dear Pink” as well as the B-side special cover of Portishead’s “Undenied,” are now streaming exclusively at PopMatters ahead of the single’s release this Friday. The single precedes ZVI’s new LP which is also nearing release in the weeks ahead.
While previous ZVI material can be interpreted as a minimal experimental drone twist on the traditional singer/songwriter, 2019 ushers in a new era of experimentation with the Deer Pink LP. In collaboration with producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Anna Von Hausswolff, Boris), Varod’s third full-length ZVI offering as well as its precursory “Dear Pink” b/w “Undenied” single introduce psychedelic analog synths and warped drum machines while almost flirting with pop melodies and forms.
ZVI’s “Dear Pink” track was engineered, produced, and mixed by Randall Dunn who also helped with sound design of the track, with bass from guest musician Toby Driver (Kayo Dot, Maudlin Of The Well, Secret Chiefs 3). On the single’s flip side, the cover of Portishead’s “Undenied” was performed, recorded, and mixed by Varod himself at home. The tracks were mastered by Brian Pyle, and the package created with cover art by Paul Cristina, photography by Justina Villanueva, and layout by Greg Meisenberg.
Varod offers of the material on this special single, “In the summer of 2015 I wrote the guitar at my old Brooklyn rehearsal space and hummed wordless melody into my phone that came to me on my walk back home and didn’t touch it for a long time. Everything from that one session stuck in my head over the course of the next year or so of touring. It became somewhat of a jump off point for when I got home and buckled down and started putting together this record. I performed all the vocals, guitar, synth and did all the drum programming but this track also features Randall Dunn on Buchla as well as Kayo Dot bandmate Toby Driver on bass guitar. The Portishead cover on the B-Side was something I had opened a lot of my shows with while touring my last record and decided to do a home recording of just to document it.”
PopMatters is hosting an exclusive early stream of the single, noting, “’Dear Pink’ builds slowly, moving us from passages that threaten to fade into silence to others that are deeply emotional, cathartic. Guitars buzz and chime, electronic glitches flicker throughout, and the percussion provides the faintest heartbeat against an enigmatic vocal line slow to reveal its secrets. ZVI offers up an intriguing and appropriately dark ‘Undenied’ that’s one part darkened prayer, one part invocation of the muse.”
Stream ZVI’s “Dear Pink” and cover of Portishead’s “Undenied” exclusively at PopMatters RIGHT HERE.
Nefarious Industries will release ZVI’s “Dear Pink” b/w “Undenied” 7” single this Friday, February 22nd in a limited run of 100 copies on pink vinyl. Find preorders at Bandcamp HERE and the label webshop HERE.
Watch for the full details on ZVI’s Deer Pink full-length to be announced in the days ahead.
Varod is booking tour dates in support of the upcoming ZVI releases, leading with a one-off gig with comrades East Of The Wall in Long Branch, New Jersey on February 27th. April sees him crossing the country for a trek through Southern California with four shows April 4th through 7th alongside Jerkagram, followed immediately by a three-date Pacific Northwest run April 11th through 13th with To End It All and Xiphoid Dementia. Watch for additional tour dates to be announced.
ZVI Tour Dates:
2/27/2019 Brighton Bar – Long Branch, NJ w/ East Of The Wall [info]
3/03/2019 Trans Pecos – Queens, NY w/ Zevious, PAK, Hardpan (DJ) [info]
4/04/2019 TBA – San Diego, CA w/ Jerkagram
4/05/2019 @ The Smell – Los Angeles, CA w/ Jerkagram, THIEF
4/07/2019 Elbo Room – San Francisco, CA
4/11/2019 Teatro de la Psychomachia – Seattle, WA w/ To End It All, Xiphoid Dementia, Vanessa Skantze, Lye Feast [info]
4/12/2019 Cryptatropa – Olympia, WA w/ To End It All, Xiphoid Dementia, Clayface [info]
4/13/2019 Azoth – Portland, OR w/ To End It All, Xiphoid Dementia, Caustic Touch [info]
Slowly taking shape over the course of a few scarce live outings and recordings dating back to 2004, ZVI’s self-titled debut was finally released in 2014. Death Stops Us All followed in 2016, featuring guest vocalist Alan Dubin (Khanate, Gnaw), engineer Colin Marston (Gorguts, Krallice), and the mastering talents of James Plotkin (Khanate) to better capture Varod’s expansive sonic palate.
The past several years have seen ZVI embark on several tours throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe opening for acts such as The Black Queen, Mouth Of The Architect, Jonah Matranga (Far, etc.), and Telefon Tel Aviv, as well as a slot on the 2018 Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands alongside Converge, Godflesh, Zola Jesus, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.