*The Following Press Release Was Issued By FANATIC*
|March 1, 2023 | Jersey City, NJ|
“Let’s just say I live in a very different Jersey than Springsteen’s Jersey.” With that, J Hacha De Zola announces his sixth studio album “Without A Tribe,” out June 9.
The “Dirty Jerzee” lifer says, “This place isn’t for the faint of heart.” New album mixed by John Agnello (Waxahatchee, Horsegirl), features Dap-Kings’ Fernando Velez
|J Hacha De Zola as photographed by Adrian Buckmaster|
|J Hacha De Zola|
Without A Tribe
June 9, 2023
01. A Day In Secaucus, New Jersey
02. Do You?
03. I’m High
04. Stay Away (STREAM)
05. Drunk Again
06. Without A Tribe
07. Running Out Of Time
08. Blood On Gold
09. Carry On
10. Drag Me Under
J Hacha De Zola | About
|“Let’s just say I live in a very different Jersey than Springsteen’s Jersey.”|
J Hacha De Zola speaks with authority about the reality that he knows better than anyone who may mythologize his home state through the songs of The Boss.
“With this album, I want to anchor myself as being from ‘Dirty Jerzee,’ he jokes. “It’s a badge of honor, really, because this place isn’t for the faint of heart.”
Hacha De Zola was born in Secaucus, the subject of “A Day in Secaucus, New Jersey,” the opening track of Without A Tribe, his sixth album, scheduled for release on June 9, 2023 via the artist’s own Caballo Negro label. Former New Jersey-ian John Agnello, known for his long career working with Dinosaur Jr., Son Volt, and more recently, Waxahatchee and Horsegirl, mixed Without A Tribe.
Hacha De Zola was described early on in his career as “a wild man” (Paste), “unsettling” (NJ.com), and “distant and strange” (MAGNET), with creative genre labels applied such as “Urban Junkyard,” “Baroque Pop,” “Avant-Indie,” “Downtown Goth” and “Boozegaze.” Comparisons to singers and front men ranging from Jim Morrison to Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Captain Beefheart followed.
On Without A Tribe, Hacha De Zola strips that hyperbole back a touch and expands on the vocal delivery that he made a centerpiece of East of Eden, his 2021 full-length.
“We’re doubling-down on what began with the last album by borrowing heavily from my love of R&B, Soul and Doo-wop vocal harmonies and arrangements,” he explains.
To help accomplish this goal, Hacha De Zola reached out to Fernando Velez, an original member of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings.
“Fernando’s deep knowledge of Soul music was the key in getting the sound we wanted on this record,” Hacha De Zola says. “We are very inspired by the New York, Philadelphia and New Jersey vocal group styles from the 60s and we hope that we have re-imagined these sounds in a way that feels fresh.”
With the sonic styling of the record more focused than ever, Hacha De Zola’s darkness becomes less “wild,” “unsettling,” or “strange.” Now it lurks, with a kind of menace and torment that emerges from his vulnerability and pain.
“It’s a place of subtle dread, kinda like some oddball Stephen King story,” Hacha De Zola says, returning to the album’s jump-off about his home, “A Day in Secaucus, New Jersey.”
As a PhD candidate who works in a lab by day, Hacha De Zola can’t help but apply science to this assessment.
“A cloud of hydrogen sulfide — very toxic — settles across Secaucus. The source is metabolic waste product from the bacteria put out by the slaughterhouses in the area. If your car breaks down on those roads, the gas can easily overcome you. That’s my Jersey.
“The song came to me very early on in my writing, but I was only able to make it work for this album. It’s a piece of ear candy. Raucous and noisy.”
Other singles expected from Without A Tribe include the intriguingly titled “I’m High” and “Do You?”
“Lyrically and thematically, I am revealing much more of myself than ever before by facing some of the ‘meat hook realities’ of life, such as becoming older, watching loved ones pass, and struggling with addiction and recovery,” Hacha De Zola says.
“Despite one thinking of ‘getting high’ as a euphoric experience, as any true addict will tell you, it soon stops being fun and becomes a sickening, nauseating need. ‘I’m High’ isn’t necessarily about intoxicating substances, but instead about experiences, people, places, or things that start out positive but unravel into something different altogether.”
Asked to describe “Do You?,” Hacha De Zola is blunt.
“If you’re looking for a heart-warming love song, then you’ve come to the wrong place. This one is a straightforward Motown-ish tune with all of the amorous feelings of wanting to be loved and desired, but also being thoroughly clueless and disconnected from the actual dance.”
The album’s closer “Drag Me Under” is something cinematic, with minimal lyrical content, but heavy on the production. Big horns, baritone saxes, trumpets, Balkan folk instruments, and banjos conspire to embrace a certain level of absurdity.
It leaves little doubt that Hacha De Zola’s New Jersey is indeed different from Springsteen’s, but is still something Bruce would love.
Without A Tribe, the sixth album by J Hacha De Zola, arrives on June 9, 2023 via Caballo Negro (distributed by Slow Start Records / Burnside / The Orchard).
J Hacha De Zola | Links