When summertime rolls around, we’re always desperate to cling onto the sunny days and balmy nights. It’s that encapsulation of the season that Toronto’s Jonah Zed has tried to harness here with his upbeat jams on ‘SUMMER IN SLOW MOTION’, the buzzy five-track EP. Spoiler: He’s hit the brief entirely.
I get seriously chilled, soothing Frank Ocean and SAINt JHN vibes from this sugary, melodic, R&B-tinged mellow pop. Each of the songs is deliriously enjoyable in its own right, but the bright, young Canadian artist has somehow given these offerings their own unique elements, too. To say Jonah Zed is only 21 but sounds as adroit as this is quite something.
The EP begins with ‘who you callin’ cold hearted?’, which I’d say outright is my favourite. Why? Well, it’s irresistibly catchy, with uptempo hooks and a funky bassline. But those upbeat drums tip the tune into a borderline hip-hop hemisphere as well, which is a bonus. And, while it’s much, much slower still, ‘happy now’ possesses a darker tone that could easily feature on a laid-back rap record. The reflective, somewhat trippy style of the sleepy-paced ‘cranberry’ has a similar nature.
Strummed strings, bird noises in the background, tinkling percussion — it’s all there on ‘sun in my summer’. It’s the sort of calm, nostalgic, summery piece that wouldn’t be amiss at an open mic night. But those token saxophone segments would open the doors to jazz club stages as well. This is the soundtrack to your next al fresco glass of white, apricot sun going down around you, feet up.
And if that wasn’t enough for the low-key, dulcet rhythms, ‘selfish (down the line)’ leaves you wanting more, while somehow rounding off the full collection oh-so nicely. Its instrumental section around the two-minute mark is a guitar-fuelled treat, too.
If you’ve been reaching for an artist that has their finger on summer’s pulse, Jonah Zed has apprehended the essence of it completely. There’s no need to succumb to autumn just yet — keep this on rotation and revel in the rays.