Corner House, the debut album by South Africa’s ZACAS, marks the arrival of an exceptional folk pop outfit whose original songs are both timeless and beautiful.

ZACAS comprises Luigi Zaca on vocals and Salva Zaca on classical, acoustic and electric guitar. Released by Just Music, the duo’s debut features 14-tracks - 12 originals and two covers (a gorgeous rearrangement of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” and a moving version of The Beatles’ “Blackbird”).

Produced by Rob O'Brien and ZACAS and recorded by JP de Stefani at B Sharp Studios in Johannesburg, Corner House is the first full-length record for the Pretoria-based duo.

Salva and Luigi initially emerged on the South African music scene in 2012 with the band Filly Lilly which made a name for itself through live gigs, in and around Pretoria. Recognising that their music would best be served by stripping down to a duo, ZACAS wrote Corner House in their parent’s home in Hartford City, Indiana, after leaving (at different times) South Africa for the USA. This intense period of songwriting followed several years earning a livelihood by working on boats on America’s Florida coastline – part of a journey that has taken Luigi and Salva from Pretoria to America, Spain (Salva), Italy and back to South Africa.

Songs like “Shoebox” exquisitely spotlight the organic unity of guitar and vocals that’s a signature of ZACAS’ sound – and the track also showcases the poetically descriptive narratives that define the album’s original material. Other highlights are the album’s title track (which perfectly describes the silence and snow of Indiana in Winter), the autobiographical “Journey”, and “Feather Lady”. A song about living life with a light and pure heart, “Feather Lady” evokes the hushed presence of the likes of José González and the troubadour sensibilities of Vance Joy. It’s one of the songs that helped secure ZACAS a record deal with Just Music during a project by the independent label to unearth new singer-songwriter talent in the country.

Adding to the distinctive ZACAS sound is the Berg acoustic that Salva additionally plays, which is made by the brothers’ uncle, renowned luthier Hans van den Berg. Corner House also features Mashadi Mokoena (whose trumpet hauntingly opens “Rail In The Rain”) as well as Shaun Joynt and Peter Auret on drums. Franco Schoeman contributes bass arrangements and the electric bass for the majority of the album.

“Corner House is about inspiration, reconciliation, reinventing yourself, and dealing with a lot of emotions,” says Luigi. “ZACAS is a commitment,” adds his brother. “I am committed to Luigi, giving him the opportunity to say what he wants to say through music and he gives me the same thing. Being in this band is about putting everything aside for the sake of the sound and for the music that joins us.”

Released by:
Just Music
Album release date:
31 August 2018
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