ZILAH is a four piece indie pop band from Leeds comprised of frontman Liam Jarry (vocals), Jo Meikle (percussion), Sandy Rowlingson (saxophone) and Jack Guard (Guitar). The Leeds College of Music graduates make dreamy jazz infused tracks melding genres and stylistic visions to create a unique and vibrant sound.
ZILAH have been making the rounds on the Leeds music circuit for a while now, frequenting familiar venues like The Lending Room and LS6 Cafe. The cohort have also been doing their bit for local causes with a charity show for LUU Amnesty International at Belgrave Music Hall (Jamnesty) and are set to perform at a HOMED Fundraiser next Tuesday. This year they released their debut single, ‘Skyline’, closely followed up by their debut EP T.A.L.L. You can catch the lads at LS6 again this Saturday if you need reassuring just how good rising local artists are.
For our second instalment of ‘In The Mix’, Liam and Sandy have dished out the 10 recommendations between them to give us a look into the artists and tracks that influenced their collective sound.
Something More – Mac Ayers:
I picked this one because of the tight grooves in the Verse & Chorus followed by the big self indulgent outro. Anyone who knows our music knows we get pretty carried away when we make an outro and this encapsulates it to a tee.
8 Circle – Bon Iver:
This song came to mind instantly because of the layers building to create a wall of sound which has been a massive feature in a lot of the newer stuff we’ve been making. Also there’s a gargantuan ending.
Pyro – Kings Of Leon:
Other than the fact that this song has all the feels, it was hugely influential during our creative process because of those dreamy as hell guitars & the simple yet effective use of chords.
Slow – Raelee Nicole:
I don’t really know where to begin with this one because it influences me in almost every way. But the features of the song which stand out for me are the clean, rich guitar tone with heavenly vox melodies. Also there’s a big atmospheric bridge section which elevates the whole song.
Let you down – Charlotte Day Wilson:
Again there’s some heavenly vocals with nice reverb, plus some nice ambient guitar to move the song along and add new layers which we love doing when making new tunes. Also it’s got a dirty phat beat.
Luna – Bombay Bicycle Club:
I remember rinsing this tune especially before going to see Bombay at Leeds fest years ago and so this song not only has big vibes and catchy as hell vocals but it reminds me of having a good time with friends in the muddy matrix of festival season.
Loving Is Easy – Rex Orange County:
I Knew I had to pick a Rex song for this but my biggest challenge was which one! However this song made the cut as its so laid back it melts any troubles you might have away instantly. Rex is a big inspiration to our writing, especially our more pop-focused tunes and the song always reminds me of our 2nd year which was one to remember.
Everywhere – Fleetwood Mac:
My dad has always loved West Coast music (Steely Dan, Beach Boys etc) so Fleetwood Mac has been a sound I’ve grown up with and is partly responsible for my interest in music. I’ve always loved their sound and my favourite tunes by them are by the queen herself Christie McVie and this has to be my favourite. Gorgeous vocals, great instrumentation and naturally makes me smile when I hear it, had to be picked.
TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME – The 1975:
I heard this song for the first time after I came back from Lost Village and had post festival blues. It made me think of the fun I’d had with my mates and so made me very sad, which is ironic because it’s such a happy sounding song. This tune is bouncy and instantly recognisable and was a huge inspiration for our song ‘Peaches’.
Nerve – Jordan Rakei:
Jordan is one of our biggest inspirations, we love his sound and his whole vibe. The album, Wallflower, was practically all I listened to for a while in my 3rd year and this song was a true highlight. The dreamy guitar chord at the very start is reminiscent of the soundscape we navigate as a band and his use of harmonies to accentuate phrases is perfect, plus there’s a tasty little synth section at the end to boogie to.
With an ecclectic music taste and a mutual love for lovely Leeds, ZILAH aren’t leaving anytime soon. It’s great to see an all male band with such a myriad of influences actively championing the vocals of female soloists as well. The band plan to stay local and continue to build on their already impressive presence in the Leeds music scene. If you want to know more, follow them on:
Or queue this absolute belter on Spotify for a midweek pick-me-up: