With their ever increasing presence on BBC Radio (among many others), Zervas & Pepper have fast been becoming a voice to look out for on your local airwaves over the last couple of years. So they release their second album Lifebringer; it would be absurd to think it could come out with anything other than a hail of critical acclaim.
Despite the easy-going nature of the album itself, Lifebringer isn’t an album that fusses about easing you into the music it brings; it’s an immediate, joyous, soulful launch straight into their unique and resonant harmonies and bounding tunes with Buffalo Crow which is shortly followed by the soulful melodies of Living in a Small Town. This bouncy introduction is the perfect kind for this album as it shows nothing but life throughout its duration and it prepares you for the genial nature of the album.
The music is cheerful and upbeat without fail, filled with simple acoustic riffs, swooping slide guitars amidst dancing drumbeats and eager pipe tunes that stand out as they bring the songs to life. Everything combined doesn’t just slap a smile on the face of the listener, but it provides them with a grandiose sense of sound as the rich, textured music is audibly evocative of a grassy knoll in spring. Intrinsically mellow and with a sweeping, sunny disposition on life as they tell the tales of their lives.
As if their beautiful music wasn’t enough, the vocal work of both Zervas and Pepper are consistently superb throughout. As they take to their own songs, displaying each of their individual and unique voices they make it apparent that any changes to their tones would be musical sacrilege. Shortly after however you are introduced to their incredible harmonising on tracks like All the World has Changed and it becomes rapidly clear that while their solo voices couldn’t be better if they tried, the addition of each others vocals is enough to leave an awe-inspiring gap as they set themselves aside from the crowd as Peppers velvet Aimee Man-tinged voice blends with Zervas’s deeper, smooth vocals that soars to match the feeling inspired by their music.
As if the duo hadn’t shown enough promise with their debut album, they have opened the floodgates on inspiration with Lifebringer as the elevating songs bring you to life. It’s a wonderful, buoyant and beautiful album filled with tales and stories that will stick with you as much as the music itself.
For more information on Zervas & Pepper, check out their website here:
Review by Joe Knipe