Album Premiere: J Hacha De Zola ‘UnPOPular’

The year has almost come to a close yet we still see a number of artists releasing material after already reeling from a banner 2019. Earlier this year J Hacha De Zola released Icaro Nouveau (Caballo Negro) which we referred to as something that “could be the soundtrack to a demented Lemony Snickett book, encapsulated within sour cotton candy balls, led by the demented ringmaster J Hacha De Zola mimicks; post-death.” Yes, the description still stands. He’s taken things a bit further though.

A few years ago, Zola put his take on an Ariana Grande song. Yes, that Ariana Grande. The results, well, they strayed from normalcy but if you listen to Hacha De Zola, walking the straight and narrow isn’t something you’re expecting. He recently released a cover of Billie Eilish’s “Bury A Friend,” but it’s a J Hacha De Zola song now.

Today Zola once again shares the Eilish song but along with it, we have exclusive covers of two other female songwriters he admires, as most of us do. Halsey’s “Nightmare” takes a different turn as he incorporates Latin grooves to make it his own, while his cover of Lorde’s “Writer In The Dark,” Zola rendition sticks closely to her formula but stamps his own identity onto it. His collection of songs is appropriately entitled the UnPOPular EP (Caballo Negro), which is completely apropos.

Of the two new covers, J Hacha De Zola offers:

I have always admired Lorde’s songwriting prowess. There has always been something cynical and maybe even a bit dark about her songs and “Writer In The Dark? is no different. I was able to really connect to the darker overtones of the lyrics. I could totally relate to that whole “scary love? vibe.

Another tune that came to my attention is “Nightmare? by Halsey. I try to stay “current? on things, and I asked my friend’s little sister, “Hey what are you listening to? What do the kids think is cool today?? This kid gave me a laundry list of pop artists that she really liked, and from this list, I found “Nightmare,? another song that I could relate to. It is a song of coming into one’s own power and owning up to what one is. It’s about self-acceptance despite one’s imperfections. It is a song of liberation. I love it! Production-wise, we took the tune in a different direction. It has this strange mix of a Latin – 80’s Christopher Cross – “Kokomo? thing going on, complete with a bass sax, Latin piano, palm-muted guitars, and clarinets.

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