Welcome yourself into the whimsical reality that ZOF shares with their debut album, Nostalgic Premonitions, released on October 27th through DOME OF DOOM. The chromatic debut explores the different depths of the mind of ZOF, ready to unveil the wonders of their artistry. While expanding through the realms she is familiar with, she steps into unknown territories that others may not recognize. Through the prismatic lens of Nostalgic Premonitions, we prepare ourselves to encounter greater possibilities of our minds through sonic vibrations. And once we return from our reminiscence, stick around for the exclusive interview with ZOF!
“All of the songs on this album are meant to capture this strange feeling, [like] floating between the past and present while observing the present from a third person perspective. With so much going on in the world, from war to climate change to the constant and accelerating erosion of rights here in the US, dissociation and seeking escape is a pretty natural response. Each song is like a photograph, or vignette, of what it feels like to be living during what’s either the end of the world or the beginning of a better one. I’m hoping for the latter.”ZOF
Stepping into the dreamy atmosphere with ZOF
Before encountering this new sense of reality, we begin to feel the elevation of senses from the soles of our feet into the tips of our fingers. From the simple chimes and twinkles in the background, we start to detach ourselves from the norm and fall into the dreamy realm that ZOF has for us to explore. As we roam through the amusing environment around us, we feel the undeniable relief that comes through us. “Same Thing” introduces us to the album with a huge reality check into our lives. And while we continue to adventure through this new fascinating world, we realize the thrill we are encountering from trying something new instead of the routine we have fallen into. ZOF provides a moment to frolic around, away from our habitual lifestyle, to enjoy the possibilities that are out there.
Now, entering into a sense of familiarity…
For many, we fall into the comfort of familiarity, although there is something new and expansive when your familiarity begins to alter. The first single of the album, “Glitter,“ gives us a similar world that is familiar to our world from ZOF, with a club-like, bouncy atmosphere. Then we step into the following track, “Psychosomatic,“ which elevates a different cerebral area inside us as she takes us into a new realm of dissociating on the dancefloor. ZOF puts the audience under a spellbinding rhythm with the synths and hypnotic melodies. While we continue to move forward, she transforms the elements into a darker environment. “Question” brings a sense of more unfamiliarity in a world that should feel like home. ZOF influences the listeners to challenge the reality they are in.
Then, we bring ourselves into something unknown.
Now, we’re entering into new territories for the audience. ZOF introduces us to the expanding dimensions she can reach with her craft. “Wi-Fi” elevates our expectations of what the world is used to coming from ZOF. Through the harmonizing plucks and chromatic airwaves, the track begins to alter the room we are in. From watching the shifts in our reality, on whether nature is real or digital. Naturally, ZOF elevates themselves to new heights and continues on as we progress through this unknown environment.
And while we continue to wander through the depths, “On My Own” brings a heavenly package. We become captivated by the iridescent sonic vibrations. As the song progresses to the next, we feel gravity deplete as we hear the angelic vocals gently bring us back into reality with “Told On Yourself.“ Although the ride is over, ZOF gives us another opportunity to be in full control of our reality. “I Don’t Care (No One Takes Me Seriously)” unleashes a luscious energy for us to break through the expectations of everyone. The track readies us to fully engulf the rawness that comes ahead with polychromatic elements that energize us to float freely even when we are back to reality.
A debut to always hold close to your heart as we return to our reality!
Nonetheless, ZOF brings the crowd a brand new vision of what to expect from the up-and-coming artist. The ability to explore new areas in genres and allow it to still feel very coherent with your own unique style is beyond impressive. Nostalgic Premonitions gives the audience a taste of just anything for any musical connoisseur. While also delivering a very well-rounded album that truly holds up after each listen-through. As we continue to listen, we start to find new elements that are sparkling through the album and astonish us with the impressive thought that went with it. As a result, the album became cemented as one of our favorite albums of the year!
seradopa: While listening to Nostalgic Premonitions, it gave me this disassociated feeling and an overarching theme of feeling disconnected from your body. How does that play in with yourself and your upbringing with your vivid imagination and authentic sense of time?
ZOF: I worked on Nostalgic Premonitions for a few years. In the beginning, I didn’t intend for it to be a full album. After I had collected many songs that fit together, they all had that floaty kind of dissociated feeling. This is something I’ve felt a lot throughout life at various stages for various reasons. I had a knowing that something weird was going to happen before the pandemic.
While I worked a “normie” job in a lab, I was definitely dissociating. Like, you know, get through the nine-to-five grind. Which I feel like a lot of people do, and that’s not special. But I just felt this sense of existential dread. So, I quit my job six months before the pandemic started. When we went into lockdown, I didn’t know it was going to be a pandemic, but I knew that some insane shit was about to go down.
It’s hard to explain, but I always had this gap in 2020 in my mind. When I think of that year – there’s no visualization for it. When I was brainstorming names for the album, nostalgia was a theme, but also premonitions of the future kind of thing. So that’s where Nostalgic Premonitions came from. I’m not a psychic or anything, but I can sense the vibes, you know? This album is a collection of those feelings for that time period. I felt dissociated but at a societal level. I believe everybody was in their own little world during that time.
seradopa: Since this is your debut album, did you have this internal pressure for yourself while creating it, or was it more a relief for you to be releasing all these tracks?
ZOF: Yeah, so I had made three or four of the tracks, “Wi-Fi” was the first one I made. So, I didn’t have a full album, it was more of a long EP, and I didn’t intend to release them at the time. We were still in lockdown when I finished the first group of tracks, and they were so different from all the other music I’ve released. Less club music and more like listening to music that I just like. But I had friends close to me that I showed, and they were like, “You’ve got to put this out.” Then, one friend in particular really pushed me to put an album together because they said, “This is so different from your other stuff but in a good way.”
I didn’t start off thinking I was making an album, but I just collected these songs that worked. When I had half the songs, that’s when I was like,
“Okay, this is gonna be an album, and I’m gonna finish it.”
So I decided to finish it, and that was almost harder because then I was like, “Oh, well, this song has to fit in with the others,” or “Is it going to mesh with the feeling of how the other tracks sound?” I kept it pretty coherent throughout the album, but there are also many different elements in there.
seradopa: I saw on your Instagram that you’re trying to be more vulnerable through your process of releasing this album. And how about as an artist/person?
ZOF: It’s been a lot; it’s been pretty crazy. As an artist, when I first started releasing music, I didn’t know what I was doing! I didn’t know how to market stuff. Also, I didn’t know how to do the social media grind and all that. I was just putting out what I liked, trying to DJ and do all that stuff. Over the pandemic, I got more in tune with what my actual artistic vision was because everything stopped. So, the anxiety of having to put yourself on the internet all the time wasn’t really nagging at me.
The being more vulnerable thing is artistically hard. And also, in my personal life, it’s hard because I’ve always been the kind of person to keep stuff to myself, which is not good. That’s been changing a lot in the last while for me, both personally and in music, and it’s coincided with this album release to feel very naked. The lyrics, too, are just more personal. They aren’t bop in the club booty lyrics, you know? It’s definitely a little scary. I’m putting myself out there in a way that I hadn’t before, and it’s exciting but also a little bit scary.
seradopa: What was your thought process when it came to the art direction for Nostalgic Premonitions? From the color schemes, single art, your press photos, and everything else.
ZOF: For the single cover art, I worked with my friend, Hannah Selene, who’s a photographer and 3D artist, and she’s awesome. I’ve done pictures with her for a long time; we’ve grown artistically together. It’s been really fun to grow with her. And so when I was doing the photos for “Glitter,” I had the idea for the glitter tears. I sent some reference pictures to Hannah. She made the tears with hot glue and glitter herself, and made them look perfect. So it was really fun to shoot that with her!
Then, for the album, I wanted it to be a little bit more nature-y or spooky, which is not really how it turned out! Something like a tech meets nature vibe that encompasses the liminal space feeling that the album has. Hannah and I did other shoots in the woods and stuff; we got a lot of good pictures, and then I went through a bunch of iterations of what I wanted to do for the album art. But none of it was exactly what I wanted!
It’s hard for me to transcribe my weird, ethereal idea into an image and then explain to another person how to do it. I ended up talking to a bunch of different artists and seeing if they could fit what I was thinking. I [went] with my friend Ryan Rothaus, a graphic designer. I was struggling with finding an artist because I’m very picky about fonts. But I’m also ignorant about it. And that was one of his specialties. He ended up working with some of the photos that Hannah took and did a bunch of digital-analog hybrid visual processing for the cover. Basically, the first draft that he sent me was perfect. We only had to make a couple of tiny tweaks to that. And then that was the cover that you see on the album there.
seradopa: Lastly, just out of curiosity for our readers, have you gone on your walk through the neighborhoods smoking weed by all the churches with your platform Crocs yet?
ZOF: Yeah, I have been wearing my platform Crocs nonstop, honestly. They are the best shoes! I’m actually going to get another color. I’m getting the black ones next, and I’m going to get the little spike things that you plug into them. That’s my next Croc purchase. I already got it planned out. But they’ve definitely been my most controversial shoes!
Through our predictions, ZOF will be excelling in her future after Nostalgic Premonitions!
Nonetheless, ZOF made an important imprint with their album Nostalgic Premonitions. With all the sparkling and divine care for the atmosphere, she crafts a beautiful expedition to wander, allowing us to look deeper in ourselves. Through everything from all the singles and her debut with Nostalgic Premonitions, the outlook for ZOF places them on our radar to continue watching what she does next!
Fall into the wonders that come from ZOF and their new album Nostalgic Premonitions!
PRE-ORDER THE NOSTALGIC PREMONITIONS CASSETTE TAPE HERE
Nostalgic Premonitions Mastering Credit: Hume Audio
Looking for new music? Keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts. Updated every Friday with all the latest releases. Whether it’s the newest drops from ZOF, all your favorite artists, some old-school, or underground…we just want you to hear it.