Californian newcomers abracadabra release a pulsating art-rock/ disco cut in ‘at the zoo’.

The third single taken from their sophomore album creates a dazzling collage of psych-fuelled synthscapes.

Photos: Kristin Cofer | Words: Joshua Tubb

Hannah Skelton and Chris Niles of Abracadabra show off the talents of their new album ‘shapes & colors’ with the simmering and quirky third single ‘at the zoo’. This is the third in a string of singles trailing ‘shapes & colors’, which comes out via Melodic on 20th January, and follows up their self-titled 2020 debut.

The track starts with a ting ting ting chime before dropping into its bass groove, which is consistent and bubbling throughout the song. It is bumpy, atmospheric, even spooky at times. The lyrics reference a trip to the zoo, as if begging the listener for entry to the exhibits.

The previous single ‘talk talk’ had a very tropical feel while this newer offering is something much more enclosed. The horns of elephant trumpets stay on theme with a creeping melody as we stalk through the grounds, shifting in and out of reality. Reminiscent particularly of Tom Tom Club’s ‘Geniuis Of Love’, the pair wear their influences outwardly as they proceed on this outing. Details are also lovingly transplanted from ‘Roomate’ by Lizzy Mercier Descloux, with the bouncing call and response tone to the lyrical performance emanating through what I perceive to be a menagerie at night.

The lyrics call for consideration of the zoo trade and looks at what can be taken, seen and tamed. Accented keys back Hannah’s somewhat confrontational lyrics. Twinkling elements within the percussion are infectious and make the track a compelling listen, drawing out aspects of art-rock, disco, and dub. The pulsing groove is backed with psych rhythms and 80s style new wave synth melodies

In combination with the previous singles, abracadabra is promising decades of electronica, crunchy sound effects, field recordings, and animal sounds within the new album ‘shapes and colors’. The infectious, groove-filled nature of abracadabra’s music will find a place within the hearts of fans of ESG, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, and Deerhoof.