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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


A Taste Of Oxygen is out now!

Image: Michael Tartaglia.

Naarm post-punks Zombeaches have dropped their sophomore album, A Taste Of Oxygen. To celebrate the release, the band are taking us through the collection of songs track-by-track.

“The album is a celebration of life itself, though while at times it dips into darker tones such as isolation, mortality, suicide and depression it aims to never linger in this space for too long as each song is written with a sense of hope, appreciation and celebration. There is a common expression of beauty, admiration and love of the world in which we live and for the people that live in it. The world can be seen as a dark place right now and it can be easy to let many things bring you down. The album aims to not be defined by darker times and urges to push forward and appreciate the happiness and love that surrounds.. Perhaps in essence the title itself serves as a gentle nudge in recognising the profound beauty and fragility of life.” band member James Young shares.

Over the weekend, the band kicked off their tour with performances in Brunswick, Carlton and Collingwood. The run of shows will continue on to Penrith, Woy Woy and Sydney next month.


The shortest track on this album addresses some environmental and political issues to kick things off. Influenced by the 2020 bushfires and 2022 floods with a slight dig at certain leaders' responses or lack off. It’s a good introduction to the album, short, fast, angry and pissed off but ends with a hopeful positive outlook. 


The title track and first single. This song got us excited about writing a new album and became a sort of template and pivot point to how we would write this album. Everything before now had always been written together in a room jamming and experimenting. Where a lot of this album was written in pieces separately and built on through the computer. Nick (drummer) came up with the main guitar riff and would send it to myself, (James (vocals/guitar)) who would put it together through logic and work on different arrangements before sending a structured idea to the band. This then became the common workflow for album writing process. Though the demo was made very rigidly, the whole song’s body was recorded live and in one take together. 


With a dark lens of optimism and hope, Dancing Through Blood feels as the centrepiece for Album. Originally titled ‘Nick Covid’ was the last song we wrote for the album. Written in a similar way to A Taste Of Oxygen. I thought the album was done and we had enough tracks to go into the studio, but Nick was sick at home so sent through a couple more ideas that he really wanted to work on. I’m glad he did cause this ended up being one of the most proudest songs we have ever written. It encapsulates the band at its best with every member contributing their strengths to the arrangement, writing and performance.


This is Jay’s main songwriting contribution for this album. One of the earlier songs we worked on, I feel this is a good crossover track as it could easily fit in with the last record Cheers To The Future. Lyrically it's about losing someone through their own choices and I feel one of the darker songs on the record. 


Jay came up with the title for this one. Another song written from a bunch of Nick's guitar ideas. In some ways it's a really straightforward song but also has a lot of sneaky guitar subtleties and progressions. (I don't know heaps about music theory but the chords have 4 chromatic notes in them, which I think shouldn't work but it does. And i think that's cool). 


The title is in dedication to our great friend and Mornington Peninsula musical hero Redro who sadly left us in April this year. I'm so glad he got to see this song released as a single and got an early version of the Album. We worked the guest vocals with our good friend Wolfgang (Stiff Richards/Public House) at Red’s house and it was such a great experience to get both of our friends contributing to our art. We luv ya Red!

This is Tony’s songwriting contribution to the album. He and Nick worked on this idea backstage at Singing Bird Studios Frankston at a Stiff Richards show. It was a very last minute track. We had an hour left of studio time Tony and Nick thought let's give that idea a go. What you hear is the first ever take of us playing this song in all rawness and excitement.  


This was a composition I had stored away for a couple years, always like the chord structure but struggled with the lyrics and didn’t it would ever suit with Zombeaches. I think sonically it sounds fantastic on the record. Dom added some really cool synth layers, Juno going through multiple guitar pedals and pitch shifters, so it will be interesting when we try and tackle this one live. 


This song has been in the live set for a while and was the first thing we tracked live in the studio. It came together pretty quickly and was more of a jammed out track compared to the rest. There’s some cool guitar interplay between myself and Jay. Song addresses loss and that it’s alright for things to hurt. It’s ok to be afraid. 


This one was a battle. The oldest idea we had and originally had the working title of ‘Hard Work’ as it took us years to find something that worked. I believe we even attempted to record an arrangement with Mikey Young for the last album, so its foundation is pretty old. Everything in this was a challenge but I love that we persisted and how this song eventually turned out. Again lyrically it's coming from a darker reference, but is actually aimed at a song of inspiration and optimism to keep pushing forward and working towards something great. 


Another one of my compositions that was surprisingly inspired by a couple of Franz Ferdinand and INXS songs. Wasn’t sure if this was gonna make the cut going into the studio sessions. We really struggled tracking this song. I reckon we played it for about 2 hours straight and we almost had the take when I played the completely wrong chord at the end. I was furious at myself as it was my song id stuffed up after pushing everyone else so hard to complete it hahahaha. And we never got it. (This song is actually two separate takes that we had to splice together ol' school on the tape machine).


With that title it has to be the last song. Another track that could have been on Cheers To The Future and we have had in and out of the live set for a couple of years. A simple song, not many overdubs but a couple of interesting tweaks and movements. It’s a great album with its anthemic outro and group vocals. It sums up the optimism and hopeful outlook themes throughout the album. Having us all sing as the album finishes really resonates that this band and project is when it comes down to it, five friends recording music together, music that they all put their hearts into, contribute to, and are proud of. It is the album that we wanted to make and make it as our own.

A Taste Of Oxygen is out now!


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