Published on August 4th, 2018

Zigtebra could be your best friend’s indie band. They send postcards from their van to fans who leave them concert reviews on Facebook and, as audiences here will discover, they truly want people who see them to feel a connection.

Chicagoans Emily Rose and Joe Zeph met through an LGBTQ dance troupe called “Pure Magical Love” and were art-underground veterans even before they jointly gravitated toward synth pop as an accessible form of indie music. With influences as varied as Animal Collective and Aphex Twin, the drum-and-synth grids that give shape to Zigtebra tracks such as “The Greatest Love” and “Spectre” complement an emotional but fun lyricism that explores love and friendship as well as the darkness life can bring.

“I want to write music that can be an anthem for an emotion,” Rose tells PureHoney. “If I’m feeling so grieved about heartache, I want a song that is just total, treacherous agony that I’m feeling, because I know I’m not alone in that feeling.”

Rose and Zeph in 2017 took on a couple of ambitious projects: a day-job-obliterating four-month tour, and a commitment to create one new song and music video for each month of the year. They completed both assignments, even after Rose’s laptop was stolen, and re-recorded the songs once they came off the road for a planned new album.

“Stuff came out of that project that wouldn’t be there if I was waiting for the perfect inspiration, the perfect setting, the perfect studio with air conditioning and a coffee,” Rose says. “It made us write music in dirty Taco Bells in the middle of Texas and record vocals in a hot van in Flagstaff, and having cramps and being sweaty and mad. Some of the best things in life are the things you worked hardest for.”

Expect their West Palm Beach show to be, according to Rose, slightly spooky and sparkly,’ and “pretty dance-y, but a little strange.”

“I want it to be an experience,” she says. “I definitely want them to come and bring a friend because it’ll be a fun connection moment.”

Zigtebra and special guests Donzii and Monster Teeth perform August 23 at Voltaire in West Palm Beach. sub-culture.org ~ Olivia Feldman

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