[REVIEW] Zak Waters : Lip Service EP
People who know me personally know that I have a crippling addiction to two, and only two, things in this world. Groovy jams and hyper saccharine pop songs. That’s about to change, though, because I’ve just found the musical incarnate of both, and his name is Zak Waters.
Best known for lending his infectious voice to Madeon on his hit record “The City’, Waters just released his new EP on Spotify September 9th. Besides his singing and songwriting, he has produced official remixes for major artists including Adam Lambert, All American Rejects and Foxy Shazam and has been collaborating with the likes of FloRida, David Guetta, and Benny Benassi - just to name a few.
Zak opens his EP with “Penelope”, a sickly syncopated ode to his childhood babysitter. Colored with throaty guitar jangles, stabbing dream-weaving synthesizers, and a hook that will latch itself unapologetically onto your cochlea. It's a track that could easily seize the Top 40 radio.
While listening to Lip Service, it’s clear that at its core it’s built off of deep grooves. Tracks like ‘Runnin Around’ and “Swimming in The Deep End” , a number that sounds like a modern day Bee Gee’s B Side, demonstrate the delightful disco influence on Zak’s EP.
But it’s not as if the whole EP is full of dance numbers, and if the first songs on the record carry a bit too much punch for your palette, “Dear John” and “Over” show that Zak isn’t just chasing hooks, but building from a deep-rooted singer/songwriter foundation as well. These tracks, laced with gorgeous electric piano voicings, showcase Water’s gift in crafting witty, poignants lyrics.
On the whole, the production on this record certainly maximalist - I say that affectionately - and I have a feeling I’m going to be up for more than a few nights finding hidden sounds in my stereo field. But the best part about this record is that, aside from production and arrangement, the very core of these songs are sublime. If Zak showed up to my house and played these tunes for me on a busted upright piano they’d be every bit as good as the studio produced cuts. That being said, if you asked me Zak’s strength before this release I’d say he was a songwriter first and producer second, but judging from the sonics and arrangement on this EP I might get a little bit more than Lip Service for that remark.
Check out Penelope, as well as the rest of Lip Service, below!
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