Mundo Musique is our international music section, and King of Prussia’s latest release, the double album Zonian Girls .. And The Echoes That Surround Us All is truly an international affair.  Released on April 8th of this year, Zonian Girls is an album that singer, songwriter, and guitarist Brandon Hanick, put together in two places, Barcelona, Spain and Athens, Georgia.  Joined by guitarist & bassist Vasco Batista and drummer Simon Mille in Barcelona, laid down most of the tracks.  When Hanick returned to Athens, he had help from Nathan Troutman on banjo, multi-instrumentalist Brian Smith, along with guests including members of Elf Power, Mike Mills of R.E.M. and Fred Schneider of the B-52’s.

Musically, Zonian Girls fits in with some of Athens’ finest, reminding me of early Apples in Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel or Of Montreal, but also a little of other non-Athenian indie rockers like Wilco.  The music can be folky or psychedelic at times, but that’s what happens when you have twenty songs on an album.  There’s a lot of great tracks, “Your Work is Magic” is a poppy tune with some really great horns and banjo.  “Every Girl” is another great pop-rock tune that reminds me of something off of The Apples In Stereo’s New Magnetic Wonder. “Another Whitewashed Afternoon” is a great folky track with acoustic guitar and southern style lead guitar work.

The album is divided into two halves by a spoken word track “Old Masks” which has a wall of sound encroaching, but never overtaking the speaker at the end of the first half, Zonian Girls. That gives way to the breathtakingly gorgeous “From The Vine”, which Hanick has described as the “saddest song” he’s ever written.  The second half , which is … And The Echoes That Surround Us All, starts off slow with “From The Vine”, but it quickly picks up, and comes to a close with an incredibly bluesy and fuzzy “Chain Smokin’ Woman”.

Zonian Girls .. And The Echoes That Surround Us All may be as long as its title at 20 tracks long, but it’s hard to lose interest. There’s a lot of great stuff on this album, and you should do yourself a favor and listen to it.


Above photo by Cory Moore Smith

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