Gun Metal Dress is now Available on iTunes and CD Baby!!
Physical copies available at
10764 101 St NW, Edmonton,
AB T5H 2S3 (780) 429-1476
8126 Gateway Blvd NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 4B1
10442 82 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 2A2
“Put on your dancing shoes…”
Born of Cam Neufeld, a violin master, and Marianne Watchel, a relentless and talented abstract painter who named her after one of their favourite singers, Billie Zizi has been creating her artistic persona from a very young age. When I met her in Istanbul in 2010 through her father, I was amazed by her guitar playing and unusually seductive voice. If you had met her then you’d have also said she is well beyond her years. Having followed her progress like a fly on the wall for the last five years, I was very intrigued by the news that she was to bring out her debut album Gun Metal Dress in February, 2015. Now I know they say if you personally know a musician you should not review their work because you are bound to be subjective and, as a result, mislead listeners. However, having listened to the album dozens of times and in different mind sets, I can honestly say that Gun Metal Dress is a well-produced, well-rounded, and well-written debut album from a young singer and guitarist whose talents and work ethic will open countless doors in the near future.
Gun Metal Dress opens gently with Billie Zizi’s contemporary guitar sound and her father’s touching orient-influenced fiddle improvisation. The highly emotional intro paves the way for a surprising rhythm change followed by desperately sizzling and yearning vocals. Track one sets the scene for the reflective “You Do Me No Good”, featuring a bridge so hypnotic that you can easily picture the harsh Alberta winter mixed with the comforting warmth of a woollen blanket. Hopeful guitar solos accompanied by Bramwell Park’s sensitive drums reveal deep longing. Billie sings Oh you never get up and you never get out, resenting a loved one’s depression to the tune of her broken heart strings. “The Sky in the City” follows and is the obvious choice for a single. It is this song that Billie’s vocal talent is most clear. From a calm and plain vocal intro we are spiritually lifted to the skies with her embracing guitar solo, and finally reach atop the clouds from where we gaze at the cities we live in from up above. Mundane everyday tasks vanish, the broken heart heals, and a sense of peace surrounds the body. This song is like a warm bath after a hard day’s work. Comprising the same hypnotic elements as above, the sense of longing and time spent thinking alone culminate in a sparse, gritty blues solo leading to an uplifting final chorus.
Incorporating fiddle solos bordering on the arabesque with old-school jazz scented lyrics and hybrid folk with a tiny pinch of rebellious rock, Cam Neufeld works his magic in “Wind Dog Blues” while Billie Zizi lays her soul bare through soliloquy-esque lyrics. I was told that less can be more in composition. Minimalist, grimy guitar accompanies this tale of alcohol and hopelessness. Moving forward to brighter shores… The first time I listened to the demo of “I Love You” I saw the spark of creativity that has since been nurtured into the anthem I now listen to daily. The guitar and keyboard are overlooked and replaced by a harmonised vocal loop, built up gradually into a towering four-part harmony crowned by a melody so full of hooks it could catch a trout.
I know I’m not alone in thinking that the album’s release on February 7, 2015 will one day be looked back on as the starting point of a most incredible career. Visit Billie Zizi’s website here to get your copy of Gun Metal Dress
Gun Metal Dress, Available February 6th 2015.