Known for their blend of hardcore and powerviolence, Zulu is pushing the boundaries of those sounds into new territory on their forthcoming album, A New Tomorrow. Formed as a solo project by vocalist Anaiah Lei in 2018 and then joined by guitarist Braxton Marcellous, the Los Angeles based band has since been rounded out by guitarist Dez Yusuf, bassist Satchel Brown and drummer Christine Cadette. A New Tomorrow (Flatspot Records) serves as the band’s first full-length, following EPs Our Day Will Come (2019) and My People..Hold On (2020). Taking on the task of self-producing the record, the band immersed themselves in collaborator Zach Tuch’s (Dare, Trash Talk) studio in the valley. After spending months toying with different instrumentation and samples, and pulling influences ranging from reggae to death metal, the result is an eclectic 15 tracks.
The lyrics on the record are personal yet vast, filled with thoughts of perseverance and recognition. As Lei expands:
“While our past material was a more direct approach and very in your face about the treatment of black individual’s around the world, I wanted to step away and express the love and beauty of us. That through all the hard things we go through, that’s not just what we are and it doesn’t define us. Our culture is so rich and vast, and I couldn’t even begin to explain all of that. But some of the topics that make this record include unity and love in the community and hope for ourselves.”
A New Tomorrow starts with the instrumental track, “Africa,” driven by a piano and violin performance supplied by Aisha Burns and Precious Tucker before heading into full force. Exploring through, cuts like “Our Day Is Now” and “Fakin’ Tha Funk” showcase the band’s penchant for writing heavy riffs and in-your-face breakdowns. “Shine Eternally” and “We’re More Than This” seep into more soulful and jazz inspired sounds, the latter featuring a captivating rap delivery from Yusuf. To make the album an even more collaborative effort, the band enlisted friends and fellow artists for feature contributions. On “Where I’m From” you’ll find Lei’s vocals complimented by Soul Glo’s Pierce Jordan and Playytime’s Obioma Ugonna; and Truth Cult’s Paris Roberts adds a powerful notion to “52 Fatal Strikes.” The album closes out with “Who Jah Bless No One Curse”, a song about the importance of love that sees the band mastering their fusion-forward sound.
02. For Sista Humphrey
03. Our Day Is Now
04. Music To Driveway
05. Where I’m From (Ft. Pierce Jordan & Obioma Ugonna)
06. Fakin’ Tha Funk (You Get Did)
07. Shine Eternally
08. Must I Only Share My Pain
09. Lyfe Az A Shorty Shun B So Ruff
10. From Tha Gods To Earth
11. Créme de Cassis By Alesia Miller & Previous Tucker)
12. We’re More Than This
13. 52 Fatal Strikes (Ft. Paris Roberts)
14. Divine Intervention
15. Who Jah Bless No One Curse
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