Zarif returns with her debut EP, Square One. Back in December I had a pretty justified meltdown over her first single ‘Click’. It marked the beginning of a reintroduction into the music world after a series of highs and lows. It was bold, strong-willed an absolute riot of a listen. Now on Square One, Zarif aims to start all over again on her own terms. Badass.
Like ‘Click’, Square One rocks hard. Zarif’s days of performing diluted, label-led Pop are long gone as she returns with a sound full of grit and edge, immediately grabbing your attention. I can still feel the ground shake on the chorus of ‘Click’, a feeling that remains present throughout the EP. ‘Back To Square One’ skulks the night with its guitars before striking with thunderous drums. It helps create this sense of unease that the EP is going to explode at any moment, which makes listening to it so exciting.
‘Nothing But A Memory’ provides an introspective look that epitomises the fragility of making plans and how you expect life to go. Written about a relationship initially, it also builds itself with references to Zarif’s past, including a music video that offers a poignant display of her experience with chemotherapy. This honest admission of vulnerability really opens up the EP and draws you in further.
Square One is fantastic. What I love most about it is how much it embraces this restart. One moment you could be performing Pop music for someone else, the next creating badass music on your own terms. Zarif fully realises this, creating something that features some immense instrumentals, but also comes with mellow moments to allow the emotions to sink in. I didn’t know what to expect after ‘Click’ but I’m so happy it’s this.
I also absolutely wish to see Zarif perform alongside Royal Blood once things are back to normal. After hearing ‘Anonymous’, I just need this.