Zammuto “Zammuto” Temporary Residence Limited
When vocalist and guitarist Nick Zammuto of the long lasting NYC based duo The Books announced an indefinite hiatus of the group this year, it was somewhat of a shock considering all of the prolific work and shows they have accumulated under their legacy of ten plus years of being a band. ATP performances, commissioned pieces for unique settings most musicians would never dream of attempting to pull off, a collaboration record with the multi-talented Prefuse 73, and four full length albums; this is just a small list of achievements the band has brought under their legacy in the last ten years. As an artist travels the world, evolves and experiments with new ways to approach their own identity, the musicians around them who achieve these new desires tends to change along with everything else. Nick Zammuto has entered this phase of his career and is bringing to the public a new group under the name Zammuto and the release of their self titled debut album on the label The Books signed to for their last album release, Temporary Residence Limited.
Rooted in his new home in the Green Mountains of Southern Vermont, Nick Zammuto and his band record and mix all of their music on their land. Nick Zammuto and his talented group of family are in a state of self sufficiency musically from the rest, pushing a lush landscape of cinematic pop into extremes of beauty never felt before. This self sufficiency is felt in the music comes from the lifestyle Nick and his colleagues live and as Temporary Residence Limited explains, “Just yards away from his studio is his house, which he designed and built himself, and large gardens where he and his wife manage to grow most of their own food for their three sons.” The music on Zammuto’s first debut album is a completely divergent path from The Books sound, winding in lush soundscapes that flirt with an imagination and naive innocence that has come back into music while pushing into every color imaginable on each song. The drumming is incredible on this debut, with Sean Dixon paving a new road for Nick and the rest of the group to play on. Zammuto has a path that shows influence in groups like Deerhoof, Broadcast, Gang Gang Dance, Nice Nice, Battles, Big Sir, tUnE-yArDs and the other artists who are puzzling the masses with genre splitting, highly detailed and the lushest of tracks. The vocal processing on Zammuto along with the excursion of so many types of elements of sound make this is a very unique record and one that has left me speechless on so many accounts when trying to explain what it is to friends.
Zammuto is eleven songs deep and stands as an oddly shaped album that speaks on many sides of emotional weight. Tracks like ‘Full Fading’ and ‘Idiom Wind’ have an elegance and grace that makes this as serious, introspective and contemplative as it is joyful, playful and young at heart in numbers like ‘Yay’ and ‘Groan Man, Don’t Cry’. The sound becomes highly processed into electronics with songs like ‘F U C-3PO’, ‘Too Late To Topologize’ and ‘Zebra Butt’, showing how funky and out of this world Zammuto can turn their music out while never loosing a sense of integrity to the results. Every piece has overtones that you would never find in the types of foundations they pull from, a juxtapose beauty that pushes the standards further and breaks many walls. ‘Harlequin’ and ‘The Shape Of Things To Come’ rise to the influence of the Prefuse 73 collaborations Nick Zammuto shared in his career and highlight a penchant for lush drum tracks and Jaga Jazzist style harmony. The type of sound conveyed on Zammuto is timeless and is one of the brightest beginnings of any group to fall out of the path of a decade old band. Released with Temporary Residence Limited, Zammuto is a record we can’t get enough and one that we feel is pushing the evolution of positive forward thinking exploratory music to even newer unseen heights.
- Groan Man, Don’t Cry
- Idiom Wind
- F U C-3PO
- Too Late To Topologize
- Zebra Butt
- Weird Ceiling
- The Shape Of Things To Come
- Full Fading
Sprouting from the same mind that created the Books – one of the most acclaimed and innovative groups of the past decade – Zammuto marks a deep reinvention of the highly detailed, genre-defying spirit that made seminal albums such as The Lemon of Pink and The Way Out possible. Given the Books’ success as an experimental collage-pop project, founder and namesake Nick Zammuto could have comfortably extended that thread. Instead he has given us a record that is progressive and forward-looking, intense and driven, with hugely varied rhythms and melodies. The whispered, folksy vocals that became a trademark of the Books are for the most part shed in favor of an uncharacteristically confident, soaring delivery, often fueled by a wide array of vocal effects. The result is a man-machine sensitivity that ultimately enhances the songs’ emotional intensity. With dense and beautiful string arrangements by Gene Back (the Books) and brain-warping drum performances by Sean Dixon, the radical and varied sound of Zammuto leaps out of speakers with a searing directness. Making music that sounds and feels like no one else is nothing new for Zammuto, but making music that doesn’t even sound like his own past is a whole other impressive feat in itself. – Temporary Residence Limited