I really admire artists who evolve and embrace new styles and technologies. Taking a risk is never easy, and with Zahava, Jordana Talsky has made the leap from more traditional music-making to relying solely on her voice, using vocal looping to produce a whole EP. As is true for a lot of developments, Talsky stumbled upon looping by accident. She was trying to find a quick way to capture musical ideas and found that doing a recording was faster than notating.
Having a strong voice, big range and a variety of vocal colours to draw on certainly helps, and Talsky has it all, plus exceptional songwriting skills and an ear for arranging. Collaborating with talented multi-instrumentalist Justin Abedin – here lending a hand with producing, recording and songwriting – also helps. The six songs on the EP are all very accessible in that they follow traditional verse-chorus structures and have relatable themes about self-exploration and relationship struggles. The general musical style is more in the pop vein than Talsky’s earlier jazzy releases and tinges of the blues show up on Trouble Up and there’s a soulful edge to City Lights. Oh Yeah has hit written all over it.
There are plenty of artists out there using looping and other technologies to one degree or another and, of course, lots of great music is being made by singers recording the old fashioned way, in a studio with a band. I just really appreciate it when artists mix it up a bit, and Zahava is a fine example of that.