Every once in a while, you stumble across an act blessed not only with copious amounts of raw talent but the creative intelligence to wield it with style and power. And when you find an act like that, you don't let go.

Suffice to say, we'll be holding on mighty tightly to Zillanova, and only partly because we're concerned that the Melburnian soul-slingers will disappear again after only just resurfacing with their first new work since their 2013 debut effort (with a different line-up).

Moreover, though, we're clinging on for dear life because Zillanova are seriously damn good.

Zillanova — Melbourne, Victoria

With new frontman Joshua Tavares standing alongside collaborator and HopeStreet Recordings founder/producer Bob Knob, "Melbourne's most elusive soul project" appears reinvigorated and ready to reassert their presence after several years away with their new 7" EP release, The Fader.

Released mid-last month, the EP's title track is available to stream online, and is a positively silken slice of sensual organ-lined grooves and velvet vocals that sit in the ears like the warmest of aural hugs.

If the name 'Tavares' seems familiar to you, that's because Zillanova previously worked with Joshua's brother, Cisco, long considered one of the nation's foremost voices when it comes to the smooth delight of our local soul scene. As the youngest son in a highly musical family, Joshua Tavares steps into the role once occupied by his elder sibling with casual aplomb and accomplishment, his voice demonstrating power and restraint alike in the space of The Fader's four-and-a-half-minute runtime.

Despite landing a few years after their debut release — which naturally carries a different sound, featuring the vocal work of both Cisco Tavares and fellow revered singer Jess Harlen — there are nonetheless some evident sonic through-lines joining the form and intent of The Fader to its predecessor, though the new release understandably carries a slightly greater air of polish and direction. Where Tavares the elder and Harlen were both openly billed as guest stars on the Suicide/The TIme It Takes 7", Joshua Tavares brings a degree of (quietly beneficial) consistency to the soundscape, enhancing the overall cohesion and, consequently, raising the entire project to new and wondrous heights.

The new 7" also includes two further tracks in The Glasgow Coma Scale and Let's Break Up Again, although those are only available on the physical release at present. The Fader has been pegged as "the first release in a new phase of the Zillanova project", and features contributions from members of renowned acts such as The Bombay Royale, The PutBacks and Quarter Street. If this is a sign of things to come — and, god, I hope it is — then count us way the heck in for the ride.

Give The Fader (and the outfit's earlier work) a spin below, and if you're into it, you know what to click and where to go to get yourself in on that sweet southern soul action. Believe me when I tell you that you won't regret it for a second.


The Fader — 7" EP (Feb 2017)

Suicide/The Time It Takes — 7" EP (Aug 2013)

Find out more at Bandcamp.

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