Cairns Post article
Photos by Jake Nowakowski
The path of the independent suits Melbourne acoustic songstress Zerafina Zara just fine, writes Jesse Kuch
IN TODAY'S world of disposable music, it’s only once in a blue moon that you come across an album that you listen to from start to finish and find hard to fault.
Waiting For The Rain by Melbourne independent artist Zerafina Zara is one such album.
Drawing comparisons to acoustic starlets Lucinda Williams and Missy Higgins, Zara’s sultry vocals, poetic lyrics and subtle emotive elements will capture you from the moment you put it in the CD player – a rare thing in today’s music industry.
While she would have no trouble finding her way onto a major label’s roster, Zara has chosen the independent route for many reasons, not least of which is the artistic freedom it gave her with the album’s direction.
"I could take my own with it," she told timeOUT, ahead of her gig at The Green Ant Cantina tomorrow night.
"While you shell out the dollars doing it yourself, you have more control over what you do."
Another reason behind her decision was something not so positive – serious illness kept her from gigging for a number of years.
"I was out of the scene for a while and you really have to be out gigging and having people see you perform," Zara said. "The up-side of it all was that I was able to take a lot of time to write music."
While the four-year journey to complete the album definitely had its hiccups, she had help from some high-powered players to see her through.
Peter Luscombe (who works with Paul Kelly and Rockwiz) produced the record and she received mentoring by US songwriting guru Pat Pattison, whose credits include John Mayer and Gillian Welch.
Jonathon Zion (Pete Murray) and Bill McDonald (Paul Kelly) also help out on
"I used to waitress with Peter Luscombe’s girlfriend many years ago and Pat Pattison came out here to Australia through APRA," she said. "In the end I was really lucky. I got to work with the best in the business, often at mates rates."
She says no matter what the outcome of the release, her time recording it was worth it.
"I had such an amazing experience in the studio, it doesn’t matter what happens from here," she said.
"I’m not sure I’ll ever get an experience like that again."
One thing is for sure, however – Zerafina Zara is a name to watch in Australian music and where she goes from here is only limited by her imagination.
Do yourself a favour and check her out.
>> Zerafina Zara plays at The Green Ant Cantina tomorrow from 9pm. Entry is free with copies of her album Waiting For The Rain available on the night.
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<strong> The wait is over: </strong> Zerafina Zara has just released her debut album.
The wait is over: Zerafina Zara has just released her debut album.
Review from thedwarf.com.au
Album reviews for Zerafina Zara:
» Waiting For The Rain - Zerafina Zara
by Kaysea | Friday, March 27
Does it make me a little OCD that my CDs are lined up in alphabetical order? The Z section of my collection was looking a little bare. Besides a dusty old CD by ZZ Top and a rather cool complitation by an Italian guy who goes by the name of Zucchero (which translates to sugar for the non-Italian speakers), there wasn't much happening down this end of the shelf.
Then along came Zerafina. Not content with one name starting with Z, she opted for the double, ensuring there was no confusion about where to file her melodic offering.
After serving her apprenticeship in the entertainment industry, with ten years of performing behind her, Waiting for the Rain is the debut solo offering by this lovely Melbourne lass.
And as the sweet- as- honey sounds of the opening track Burning waft through the air of my tiny apartment, I'm quite glad this album has found its way into my collection.
This is a beautiful collection of songs. Zerafina is one of those magical storytellers that takes you on a wonderful journey with her music.
This is sweet, easy to listen to indie pop, with a slight Missy kind of feel to it. Her vocals are clear and crisp, yet smooth and flowing as she narrates her tales to us. She has a beautiful voice, with a great range.
From the strong opening of Burning, the others songs ebb and flow as they weave through each other, the pace changing but the quality and strength of the songs and song writing remaining steadfast.
Waiting for the Rain is a beautiful track. It stands out strongly on the album. The final tune Summer Love Song is another of my favourites, ending the album yet leaving me wanting to play it all over again.
With a little help from some talented friends, in the form of Peter Luscombe producing the album and some mentoring from US song writing authorities Pat Pattison and Steve Seskin, Zerafina has created a wondrous complitation of tunes to share with us that are so easy to listen to.
It may have taken her ten years to release her first solo effort, and while it may have been worth the wait, I'm hoping it won't be another ten before we hear more from this amazing musician.
Highlands fm review
The album's lyrics are like a lifetime story that one and all, whatever the gender, can relate to: mistakes made, love lost, love wanted, death and life in general.
Take a very close listen to 'Drowning in Sunlight' and learn of the man with cancer and his bequest to his hospital where he died; this is not light hearted lyrics rhyming moon with June but a song full of entire stories that carefully, but forcefully, unfold thus drawing one closer to the various meanings of life. (And no it is not a philosophical lesson!)
'Burning' is full of dual meaning and is one of those songs that could be around forever and there are many other artists who would have loved to have written and sung 'Waiting for the Rain'. Perhaps some other performers will pick up on Zerafina's songwriting and put their own stamp on her work. Songwriters of this calibre are few and far between.
Her voice has a tremendous range and one can well envisage some future crossover blues infused jazz numbers from her.
For the time being, take Zerafina as she is and treasure the moment.
100.7 Highlands FM