The Chicago, IL-based quartet of ZKPR pronounced as Zookeeper, after a joke about how the comparisons of their band’s sound was almost entirely based around bands with animals within their name – Deerhunter, Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, etc. – got their start when the band’s founding trio of high school friends, Rick Schlude, ido Moskovich and Zane Muller moved from the Chicago suburbs and into Chicago proper after college. And after a regular series of informal yet productive jam sessions the trio decided that they should start a real band. Of course, they needed a drummer, and they did what a lot of musicians do these days – put up and ad on Craigslist. Schlude, Moskovich and Muller managed to find Matt Kaufman, who they discovered was exceptionally like-minded, and they then went to work on cleaning up and revising demos they had been working on off-and-on for years. In fact, they believe that they’ve made great strides musically – to the point that they felt they could justifiably quiet their day jobs and be full-time musicians. (God bless those boys!)
Produced by Neil Strauch, who has worked with The National, Andrew Bird and Iron & Wine, the Chicago-based quartet’s debut EP, Tall Men With Feelings is slated for a December 9 release and it’s first single “Sierra Nevada” manages to possess an incredibly anxious tension – you’ll hear sludgy, rumbling bass, rumbling guitar and thundering drumming paired with ethereal vocals that slash through the mix. Interestingly enough, the song manages to remind me of some of the tumultuous psychedelia of some of the band’s own comparisons – all while being quite hook-laden.