Saturday, 22 January 2011

Review for Scratchcard Winner

By Cambridge student newspaper Varsity.

Here it is:

Fellow Cambridge student Zygmunt Day proclaims his New Year resolutions as:

1. Marry, or at least propose to, Laura Marling.

2. Try to stop myself from actually doing (1).

I would suggest that, failing (2), he:

3. Backs off because she’s mine.

4. Failing (3), makes sure she hears his music beforehand.

Hearing his music is particularly imperative because, even before I knew who tickles his musical (and other) fancies, I heard something of Noah and the Whale in this five-track folk-indie EP. For those who are not privy to the Laura Marling gossip, Noah and the Whale frontman Charlie Fink was Laura’s chosen ‘rambling man’ for some time: indeed, the album which made the band was a morose documentation of the end of their relationship. Zygmunt is Laura’s type then, and he should appeal to most people, with his collection of easy-on-the-ear yet not soullessly generic songs, recorded in a quality which, for a self-released EP, is hard to fault.

Scratchcard Winner opens in melodic form, with ‘Kids on the Corner’ featuring swelling cellos and violins alongside Zygmunt’s fashionably flat voice. Rich strings and elegiac vocals give way to an altogether livelier vibe, however, with the opening to ‘Tommy’ featuring a tempo, honky-tonk piano riff and rough drums which (like it or not) sound rather like a dated punk-indie pub band.

The remainder lies somewhere between these extremes, and lyrically becomes more engaging as the EP progresses. Female accompanying vocals render the hook of ‘Morning Rain’ particularly memorable, whilst the words “trying to choose between what’s right and a good night out” on ‘Temporary Saviour’ will ring true for any party-loving Cantabrigian. Zygmunt plays particularly well acoustically (there are some great tunes online), with the almost-hopeful title track serving as a strong example.

Despite occasionally walking over-trodden musical paths, Scratchcard Winneris a refreshing, well-instrumented EP from an all too rare Cambridge song-writing talent.


- Joban Thomas

Listen here:

Scratchcard Winner EP by Zygmunt Day

As soon as I made that post about Laura Marling, I knew, in some way, that it would come back to haunt me.

Still, not a bad review.

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