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Review: Zooey – The Drifters

Zooey - Cone Magazine

Matthieu Beck and Marie Merlet are the pair that make up the French duo Zooey, and together they have created an easy-listening, positive, and immersive record.

The Drifters was created in their London home studio and encompasses Maries’ admiration of experimental pop and sixties soul, in which she has just announced her first solo album as ‘Iko Cherie’ on Elefant Records. In contrast, Matthieus’ love affair with disco pop and indie is well known, being at the centre of Adam Kesher. The pair that have embraced their diverse influences and experiences in producing their debut album, releasing on Wonderfulsound Records.

‘Realise Realise’ opens the album with a dream-like synth-pop song, highly reminiscent of the work of Metronomy – laid back and idyllic with soft minor key vocals. Yet this track will not live long in the memory. ‘Time To Get Alone’ however, proposes the album’s most infatuating song: it shouts for freedom with its ambiance and the seemingly effortless songwriting from the two enables ones ascension. This is a constant theme throughout the album – one certainly does feel as though they are ‘drifting’ into another space.

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‘The Country Song’ sees Zooey give their own take on the Bill Callahan track ‘Let’s Move To The Country’, and in doing so they produce minimalism at its most brilliant, offering a dream-like duet featuring mesmerising flute, organ synths and piano. ‘Long Gone’ encapsulates the summer paradise feeling in which one can envisage laying on a beach watching the world go by. Evocative of Beach House, ‘Jóia’ offers smooth and transitioning plays, showing the potential of Zooey, yet tracks like ‘When The Morning Comes’ and ‘Oh Stop!’, however easy-listening they are, feel as though they have been ill-completed in comparison.

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Although many may argue that the repetitive nature of the record taints its quality, ‘The Drifters’ is a fresh breath from the usual trendy electronic pop songs of today. The duo’s lilt vocals and animated keyboard create a playful blend that make a tranquil and charming listen. On a whole, the album reflects the homemade effort in their home studio and lacks quality in places. However, Zooey have created a form of simplicity which others have not, and thus, ‘The Drifters’ is a promising debut.

Words by Matthew Barlow

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