Zigtebra: synth-pop in Pensacola
By Roy Brown
The soft blue lights and intriguing décor set the mood as you walk through the door. A Valentine’s Day card, like the ones swapped between classmates in elementary school, lays on the open table between the bar and the stage.
“To You, From Zigtebra,” the card reads, and the hand-drawn heart sketched in the free space is not personal, but it’s still personable.
The lights are dim and the mood is lax, but the captivating imagery in this bar is enough to make the most eccentric individual an inquisitive one. Curiosity and intrigue are clamoring for something more to feast upon.
The atmosphere was set when Zigtebra, a lo-fi synth-pop duo from Chicago, Illinois, played Feb. 17 at Chizuko in downtown Pensacola. Their spooky sound and genuine feel created an environment that was both charismatically deliberate and mesmerizingly visual.
The sound of Zigtebra is what you would expect Wednesday Addams to be into, if she were to become a romantic like her parents. Spooky tones, deep synthesizer beats and crystal-clear vocals full of emotion and desire — something trance-like and pure — that is the sound of Zigtebra.
“The bigger umbrella we fall under would be Indie-Rock, and more specifically it’s synth-pop and dream-pop,” Emily Rose, the zebra of Zigtebra, said. “Since we don’t use a lot of fancy programs, we can keep it minimal and keep the emphasis on song structure and just try to keep it as magical as possible without getting lost in production.”
The minimalist approach to their music production and focus on audience interaction make them a group that seems almost effortless. Yet, since they seem so fluid and flawless, you would have to believe that they dedicate a tremendous amount of time perfecting every note.
Zigtebra, more impressively, is also reinstating a 2017 project where they released a music video every month.
“In 2016, we decided to write a song and make a music video for it for every single month of 2017, which we did,” Rose said. “We’re restarting the song-and-video-a-month project starting on March 1.”
The video content has an interesting uniqueness to it, to say the least, and one video features a mildly provocative subject matter that is… very interesting. The videos can be found on Youtube, as well as on their website where you can sign up for their email list and get notifications when new videos are released.
Zigtebra is on tour promoting their latest EP, “Sparkle-Tip.” The successful EP features five songs that can be purchased on iTunes for $4.99.
“We put out ‘Sparkle-Tip’ last June and it has been totally successful; we’ve already sold-out of our first run of CD’s,” Joe Zeph, the tiger of Zigtebra, said. “We actually had to publish a second addition for this tour.”
Zigtebra’s songs are full of emotion. Love, desire and heartache are just a few of the themes from many of the tracks; themes that are common events in most everyone’s lives.
“It’s a common human experience to feel intense love, longing, desire or even heartbreak and loss,” Rose said. “I want to write songs that everybody hopefully understands and I won’t feel alone on stage singing about it.”
This is the first of two tours this year for Zigtebra, and they have expressed a great desire to come back and play for Pensacola.
“Pensacola is a place that always has open -arms for a shared experience, and that is why it is one of our favorite places to come have a concert,” Rose said. “We are definitely coming back to Pensacola, in fact, later this year probably around August.”
The duo is currently on their first 4-and-a-half month tour of 2018. They are playing Feb. 23 in Baton Rouge and Feb. 24 in Houston. If you can, go check them out.