KEZRA Shares Track Walkthrough For Debut EP 'Fortress'
Naarm/Melbourne-based singer-songwriter KEZRA has just revealed her endearing debut EP 'Fortress' – produced by Mark Zito (Fractures) and mixed by Matt Neighbour (Matt Corby, The Avalanches, Middle Kids).
'Fortress' is an engrossing, heartfelt listen that centres around KEZRA's candid songwriting and delicate vocals. Across five tracks, KEZRA shows her dynamic range through fluttering folk ballads to upbeat indie-pop paragons, all expertly touched by Mark Zito's sentimental production. Taking cues from luminaires Phoebe Bridgers, Maggie Rogers and Holly Humberstone, KEZRA draws on her innermost feelings to create deeply intimate and pensive explorations.
KEZRA talks about the inspiration behind 'Fortress':
"The EP is all about navigating through my crazy twenties, in failures, loss, heartache, hope, new love and finding my strength between all of that. Working with my producer, Mark, helped all the songs tie together with this theme of nostalgia in reflection of my early 20s, with the old tape-recording sounds and distorted electric guitars. I feel this EP represents myself as the artist I am today, just a girl who loves to write poppy chorus hooks and heart-breaking melodies with a guitar in hand."
"When I wrote ‘Fortress’, I remember sitting on my keyboard and I had this rush of adrenaline writing the chorus. It felt so empowering, with the thought of being pushed down so many times, but persevering to finding a way out of all the bs and standing strong as a fortress. Due to these emotions I attached to the song, there was the original intention of it being this larger-than-life anthem track with big drums and a faster feel. However, once we recorded the first demo, with the keys and vocals stripped back, Mark instinctively knew where to take the song. This was a more organic and laid-back version, which really lets the story shine. The song was about how it feels to come out of a long-term relationship, and all the ups and down that comes with getting to know yourself again and learning to be strong and independent."
"I had never written a song like ‘Back Home’ before, where I was manipulating my vocals through a voice pedal. It was strange, but I liked it, it made me feel something new that I hadn’t felt before when writing. I was sitting on the floor on my music room during the pandemic, the room was a mess, my mind was a bit of a mess, so everything was a little chaotic, so I just sat there and grabbed my guitar and starting strumming. I honestly was feeling so uninspired, but I knew playing guitar would pick me up, and it did. It’s weird when you go from feeling absolutely nothing, to feeling it all, and a few chords did that for me. I had my vocal pedal nearby, so I plugged it in, and began just harmonising different vocal riffs, and sure enough came up with the first line –“I was taken back to the house where we met”. I almost felt taken away from everything at the time, and the lyrics poured out of me. Production was simple, focusing on the distorting harmonising vocals, and grungy electric guitar to get it through all the grit."
"‘Insane’ was an interesting song for me, as it was a different path to the route I normally take when it comes to song writing. I generally write songs with an acoustic then build from there, but I had my Les Paul plugged in, so I was like why not, and I would say my mood was a little pissed off at the time – hence the title, repeated over multiple times! The first intro riff that came to me really set the tone for more an indie/rock direction for the song. Insane is like that exaggerated fight you have with your partner, where really anything could tip you over the edge. When we went into production with this song, it ended up where I imagined it going, grungy yet playful. I remember listening to Olivia Rodrigo’s album for the first time and was really inspired by her track ‘good 4 u’."
"‘Morning’ is your classic girl on a guitar emotional song which hits all the feels in all the right ways. It’s honestly a sad, but comforting song, about having days where you just don’t feel anything at all, when you’re almost blank and find it hard to leave the house, despite the sun shining. Despite this, it’s about knowing that you have that one person by your side, who will still be there regardless of you not being able to express the way you’re feeling, just being patient and kind. This song really needed to stay quite organic with the production, yet ride up and down with the emotions, through the sliding guitar riffs and verbed spaced out drums."
"Through all the chaos of rest of the EP, we’ve ended up in the whimsical love land of ‘With You’. I wrote ‘With You’ about how it feels to not want to let go of someone, appreciating everything you have right there in the moment with them, and not wanting that moment to ever end. Even the simple things like the warmth of their body, their smell and the joy they bring. It’s a slow build which lightens and brightens as the song progresses but keeping it simple with the production. It’s one of my favourite songs from the EP, that fills me with all the love bugs and transports me away. I wanted to end the collection on a high, so people can listen to the EP and feel comfort knowing that between all the craziness of the other songs, sometimes you just might get lucky and feel whole again." KEZRA will perform a one-off launch show at Gods Bandroom in Boonwurrung/Mornington to celebrate the release of 'Fortress'. This continues from selling out her first headliner last year and performances at large-scale sporting events such as the Australian Open and the F1 Melbourne Grand Prix. She's also graced the stage of Let Go Fest with the likes of G Flip, Mallrat and Slum Sociable.
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