What is Zammuto? One answer is that it’s the last name of Nick Zammuto, previously one half of The Books. With deft sonic manipulation and electronic atmospheres, it seems nearly impossible for Nick Zammuto’s self titled band to not be compared to The Books, his previous musical collaboration with Paul de Jong. But Zammuto isn’t a rehash of the past, rather, it’s good new work from an established musician.

Take FU C-3PO, for example. Aside from the great title, the song features a masterful blend of isolated, chilly lyrics and distant, distorted instruments to match the tone. This isn’t to say all of Zammuto’s first album is like this, rather, it’s an assortment of well-crafted sound mixing pieces.

Take ‘Harlequin’ for example:

I will keep you warm, I will keep you warm
I'll keep your stomachs full next year
I will keep you warm
A river of people's things, a river of people's things
Carried downhill in a perfect expression of gravity's endlessly sinking
Into an ocean of everything
I'm a harlequin
You're the reason for everything

With fragile, dotted vocals and soft instrumentation, it becomes a touching reflection on the self-sacrifice of a relationship.

The album’s experimentation isn’t something new to Zammuto-the-man. Cerebral and atmospheric, their music doesn't dwell into the depressing cold. The music has too much fun.

- Jacqueline Ristola


Calvin performances

  • April 3, 2013; Ladies Literary Club
    with Snowblink