From a sonic perspective, Zuli’s “ohfm” first feels like sunshine and rainbows. As it opens, sweet piano melodies meet the sweeter vocals of Ryan Camenzuli, the songwriter behind the project. It transforms around the minute mark with fuller instrumentation.
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With the four studio albums they have to their name so far, Belfast’s own And So I Watch You From Afar have perfected an instrumental playbook whose mantra requires a lot out of these musicians. Just about every one of And So I Watch You From Afar‘s songs involves the band tying itself into a series of seemingly irresolvable knots, with tricky time signatures and zip-fast guitar leads coalescing into mind-rattling figures. Yet by the end of each song, the quartet finds its way out. That is a rare act that makes a conservatory-worthy music clinic sound like an absolute blast; for a band of this caliber, it’s easy to indulge in time signatures as an end in of themselves, but these guys have figured out how to make instrumental prowess and infectious songwriting go hand in hand.