PUZZLE PIECES, the debut EP by Canberra based acoustic duo ZOI & DAMIAN was released on February 1, 2013.
Like two pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, the unlikely musical collaboration of a singer from Japan with a guitar player from Canberra not only fits - but has worked beyond all expectation.
After only 12 months together, this unique collaboration have crafted five songs rich in their diversity, dripping with an originality that is sure to be a tonic for even the most jaded of ears.
It would be an injustice to define the collective songs on PUZZLE PIECES as soft-acoustic country. Whilst the ZOI & DAMIAN sound certainly has aspects of that genre, PUZZLE PIECES also contains elements of folk, jazz, pop, and more than a hint of traditional Japanese music – all with an emphasis on melody, and all showcasing Zoi’s beautiful and distinct voice.
Recorded in November, 2012 and January, 2013 at Art Sound studios, PUZZLE PIECES opens with the stunning Japanese opus ‘Koi Uta’. Sung in Japanese and written by Zoi, this beautiful love song showcases Zoi’s fine vocal, and is considered to be her signature tune. ZOI & DAMIAN performed ‘Koi Uta’ live on ABC Radio, Canberra in October, 2012 and was a high point of their performance at the 2012 Canberra Nara Candle Festival.
With its sultry jazz rhythm and quirky lyrics, ‘Spider In The House’ is a jazz tune oozing an originality you are unlikely to hear elsewhere. ‘Spider’ demonstrates the high calibre of both Damian’s song writing prowess and jazz guitar playing.
The ballad ‘Tell Me’ is a love song about falling in love for good. Further emphasis of Zoi’s captivating vocal, with a high harmony at the end demonstrating her range.
With its love and peace theme, the dreamy ‘Long Long Ago’ has Damian and Zoi sharing harmony vocals set to a xylophone, creating a kaleidoscope of sounds that truly satisfy.
The final track on PUZZLE PIECES is ‘1000 Miles’. Damian takes the lead vocal with Zoi providing harmony vocals and also spoken word accompaniment on a tell tale song about love and loss. Another quality original from Damian’s pen.
Zoi believes that through her music she is able to connect with other people. She says, “I love the aesthetics of music, the rhythm, and the emotion in a vocal. It can be very powerful.” PUZZLE PIECES captures that sentiment – and more!