Song is one of three covers to appear on “UnPOPular,” out Dec. 6th.
Upcoming EP also includes versions of tunes by Halsey, Lorde. “Icaro Nouveau” album, produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile), available now.
J Hacha De Zola | About
“A few years ago, I covered an Ariana Grande tune, “Bad Decisions,” as an experiment. It’s a dance-pop tune which I wanted to make sound like a J Hacha De Zola song. Ya know, make it sound ‘creepy and dark.’
Musically or lyrically speaking, that song is very different from what I do. It couldn’t be any more different and was quite challenging for me, especially vocally. Obviously Ariana Grande is an ultra-amazing vocalist – a real song bird – and then there’s me!”
I had a lot of fun turning that song into a ‘Tom Waits-esq barroom roar’ as Cover Me put it. Fast forward almost three years later and I’ve decided to keep experimenting and pushing the boundaries of what I do by covering some more pop tunes. However, interestingly enough, this time things are a bit different.
During my Icaro Nouveau recording sessions, I recorded what I thought would be another one-off pop cover, ‘Writer In The Dark’ by Lorde. It has a dark, moody, and almost even slightly “dangerous” feeling. From a production standpoint, we did some different things, but I kept that creepy-longing vibe intact. I was quite happy with this cover and put it under my hat for a bit, hoping for the right moment to release it.
Suddenly, some new pop artists emerged with even more tunes that I felt like I could relate to. A friend of mine passed this song along to me – ‘Bury A Friend’ by Billie Eilish – who I didn’t know about at the time. As he passed it along he said ‘You should do this song! This could be a legit J Hacha De Zola tune!’ When I finally put some ears to it, I couldn’t agree more.
Billie is truly making some moves that ya just don’t see very often for a pop star nowadays. This song is an exploration of the darker side of songwriting. The instruments on the original tune are electronic, so we decided to have a go at it and put my brand of creepiness on using some interesting folk instruments like a Kaval, Gadulka, and Banjo. Also that’s an Upright acoustic Bass thumping away on there! It almost feels like a strange Balkan Bluegrass folk-music type of thing. I hope folks will dig it.”
J Hacha De Zola | Available Now
J Hacha De Zola
STREAM FULL LP
01. Anarchy (VIDEO)
02. El Chucho (Hooko) (VIDEO)
03. On A Saturday
04. Juan Salchipapas
05. A Song For Her
06. Hollow Trees
07. A Fool’s Moon
08. Ode To Ralph Carney
09. Super Squeaky (VIDEO)
10. Hacha’s Lament
J Hacha De Zola
‘Syn Illusión’ EP