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Zone Out began its life as Ashley Bundang’s solo project, back in 2012, when the vocalist and synth player released a demo, decided to start playing live shows and enlisted the aid of some musically talented friends. Since then, the Melbourne band has undergone a number of changes, with Dove Bailey making the switch over from keys to guitar, and two of the original band members leaving the lineup, resulting in the current, magical number of two.
Zone Out prove that shedding members can be just what a band needs when a change in direction is due. Inside sees the band dropping the guitars and entering synth heaven
“General life circumstance and the change of direction in new songs were all a part of it,” Bailey and Bundang say of the change. With their drummer leaving the country as her visa ran out, the remaining band members took the opportunity not to replace her, but to “Redefine and downsize the lineup to be more align with the type of music we both were inspired to make”, switching the rhythm guitar for a “sweet synth”. Their name though, remained, although the band say it all felt like a completely new project from when they had first begun.
Their first foray post-transformation is Inside, a shoegazing dream pop number which shimmers along in synth-led haze, with dreamy arpeggioed loops and hypnotic click-clacks. It’s “Basically a song about conflict of interest within interpersonal relationships,” the band explain, “It conveys feelings of resignation to the challenges within the incestuous nature of the friendships and relationships one has.” It’s full of insightful little respites, all wistful, breathy vocals like: “My friends have gone astray, I’m weighed down by all the things they say” and “My ears just fell upon your rhapsody, and I didn’t choose to see behind the scenes.”
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The step away from the EPs of two years past is very much deliberate. Back then, those previous releases still sashayed behind a dreamy veil, but were heavier on the garage and guitar. Given the shift in lineup, a new direction in sound is hardly surprising. Bundang in fact wrote Inside while Zone Out were pre-twosome, showcasing their old lineup. Still in the drum-writing stage and following the conscious change in ensemble, she took the opportunity to experiment, taking advantage of various arpeggiators, drum machines and synths whilst she was rerecording the demo during her artist residency in Spain.
She then brought the result to Bailey, the pair developed their ideas together and Inside – along with all the new sounds the track brought with it – was born. Most of the songs on the duo’s upcoming album – a 7” which will land towards the end of the year – went through a similar writing progress, also having being penned during the previous lineup, and an debut LP is due for release in early 2016.
To keep you busy till then, Zone Out will play the following shows:
5th November, Deaf Ambitions Label Launch, Howler, Melbourne
13th November, Sui Zhen Album Launch, 107 Projects, Sydney
17th November, Melbourne Music Week Lunchbox Session, Former Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne
21st November, Sui Zhen Album Launch, Shebeen, Melbourne
26th November, Zone Out 7″ Launch, The Catfish, Melbourne