Hello World is Lady Zephyr’s six-song EP that was independently released on February 10th. The LA-based rock group is composed of Neema Rustin, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, as well as Scott Lee on the drums.
There is an upbeat feel on this record. The EP opens with “Saturday Night” a track with classic rock style guitar riffs, theatrical and in-your-face vocals, and moments of manic laughter that give the EP some character right off the bat.
Rustin’s vocal style brings Jim Morrison to mind at some moments on Hello World, but most especially on the song “Valentines.” His colorful vibrato and jazzy tone allows Lady Zephyr to deviate from sounding like a generic rock band. They instead write grand, dynamic tunes that shift moods on a dime. There are refreshing acoustic breaks on “Yours To Own” and “Round About” that kept me engaged, whereas I wasn’t as interested on the more repetitive “Grand Charade.” Overall, however, Hello World, provides a diverse array of rock songs that are almost all energetic to the bone.
The song I most enjoyed was the EP’s finale “Round About” where Rustin’s vocals seem to embody a variety of moods from the Billy Squier power of the first verse to the sweeter-sounding “I’m Dying, yeah,” backed by an acoustic guitar and subtle background oos in the calm middle of the track. The transition from the upbeat, distorted guitar riffs to the foot-tapping acoustic break is my favorite part of the song. It’s as if Lady Zephyr wrote two separate songs in the same key and squeezed one in between the other to make this epic, evolving track pack a punch.
It would be a shame not to mention the awesome performance that drummer Scott Lee gives on this EP. His most impressive moments come on “Cannot Explain” and “Valentines” which were two tracks that I felt compelled to re-listen to because of the energy that the drums provide. Now, I’m not saying that Lee isn’t holding his own on every track, because he very noticeably is. On the chorus of “Cannot Explain” Lee stirs up a head-bobbing drum beat that significantly compliments the catchy, “do-do-do,” chorus.
This is a very solid debut release. This group has plenty of promise, especially considering the fact that all of these songs offer something different to the table. Coming out with a diverse-enough EP is challenging in terms of finding the happy medium that separates redundancy from chaos, but Lady Zephyr does a good job of delivering an interesting project that shows real potential in this rock group from LA.
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