Zac Nelson conjures a freak matrimony of chaos and beauty for New Once, his first album with Styles Upon Styles.
Born in Illinois and based in Sacramento, Zac Nelson cultivates a daunting discography of pop experiments across a myriad of personas, collaborations and solo affairs. A feral drummer, versatile vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Zac performs with ALAK and Biosexual, recorded as CHLL PLL w/ Zach Hill of Death Grips and maintains a steady output of solo material. His past excursions in leftfield rock (Charbroile [Debacle, 2012]) and blasted sound design (Exis [Further, 2013]), meld into one beautiful orgy of sound in his most idiosyncratic album to date.
Our first letter from Zac included three albums of original material spanning all genres Discogs could muster. His demos for New Once resonated with a startling intensity, bursting at the waveform seams with a colorful, richly layered sound. Entranced, we brought the demos to Rusty Santos, who was instrumental in fostering the songs into the teeming, vivid universe you hear now.
New Once flits from four top harmonies and acoustic strum-alongs to psychotropic passages of blistered ambiance from one minute to the next - each song barely averages above the two minute mark. The rapidity mirrors the musings of a dosed poet or a Hunter S. Thompson novella, dipping from the exuberance of “Some Are This” to the melancholic duet “Her Daddy Broke” with brushstrokes unfettered yet focused.
It’s Zac’s vibrant drumming and sense of groove that elevate New Once beyond the freak pop standards. Beckoning a wild energy from his kit, Zac cascades into proto-funk fills and poly-rhythmic timing with a freewheeling tenacity best reflected in album closer, “Ex-Stream-Esque”.
Zac Nelson blurs the borders of pop nostalgia and experimentalism with unabashed glee throughout the brief and wondrous sound of New Once. New Once will be available in vinyl and digital forms on June 16, 2015 via Styles Upon Styles.
released June 16, 2015
All songs written, performed and recorded by Zac Nelson, except:
ALAK sings on “Send My Body To Her” and “Pan Size”;
Michael RJ Saalman plays guitar on "Some Are This";
Daniel Grisham plays trumpet on "some Are This".
Thank you and divine love to Jocelyn, Juniper, Mom & Dad, Phil & Cam, Michael, Bobby, Rusty,
Grish, Santiago & Wade, Zeal Kombucha, Zach Bissell, Jason Spencer, John Conforti, and Chef Jessie Shadle.
Mixed and mastered by Rusty Santos in New York, NY.
Design by Santiago Carrasquilla and Wade Jeffree.
Cover photography by Giovanna Satllings-Blanche.
This and the other Angola Soundtrack are like a time machine that not only goes through African time but for me, as a Californian, through coastal surf music and psychedelic guitar time. This Angolan stuff is mezmerizing and an absolute journey for the mind and soul. LOVE it.