A strikingly genuine showcase of artists valuing one another, Ziggy Alberts’ latest EP, Friends Edition is not a covers album – although it might appear so – it’s not even a tribute album. It’s a love letter passed from artist to artist, inscribed with a resounding appreciation for what the other brings to art, re-imagining some of Alberts’ fan favourites alongside nine of his closest and most talented friends.
Opener “Searching For Freedom” sees Canadian pop-soul singer-songwriter Emily Brimlow mould the track with her whimsical vocal style, choral vocals and broody piano bringing forth a reflective ballad. Crowd pleaser “Love Me Now” gets a minimalist treatment from Canadian-Aussie artist Garrett Kato which draws it into flighty delicacy, backed by a progressive rhythm to echo the original, opting for baritones in place of Alberts’ falsettos.
Lauded Aussie duo Hollow Coves take a personal favourite, “Laps Around The Sun” into their hands and sculpt it with moving vocal harmonies which pluck unapologetically at the heartstrings – while “Stronger” is brought to life by Harrison Storm’s intensely unique vocal delivery.
Then Finnish trio YOUNGHEARTED lay a beautifully tempered electric guitar glaze over “Yu (A Song For Koda)”, Maddy May washes “On Hold” with strikingly feathery vocals, before Samoan-Australian maestro Bobby Alu stitches earthy rhythm into “Heartbeat”.
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The final two tracks are delivered by two of Alberts’ regular tour mates – with Kim Churchill bringing restrained delicacy to “Getting Low” and Tay Oskee underpinning “Don’t Get Caught Up” with lilting vocalism and a pillowy rhythm.
What stands out here is the sheer authenticity each artist invokes when turning Alberts’ originals to their own sound. Each track is handled with care and compelling respect – resulting in a rare gem of an EP which unites artists and fans alike with raw sincerity.
Feature pic supplied by artist.