Brooklyn-based Ziemba’s EP Lala starts in a dark, dripping cavern of sound. A loud crash gives way to two uncannily detuned voices falling into swampy, crawling noises; our introduction into her psychedelic world is jarring. Emergent from the harsh introduction found in “I Am Not Destined To Live,” however, are soft, ethereal pads carrying Ziemba’s strong, melodic vocals: “I am not destined to live / I am not destined to die / I stretch my hand through shadows / and sing a silent goodbye.”
Unabashed about her communication with something alien (the top three press quotes on her website quote major press outlets all describing her as “otherworldly”), Ziemba’s ethereal, synthetic landscapes facilitate her communication with something outside of her, and our, material world. Lala is a welcome sonic departure from her last EP, which relied less on synthesis and more on intimate live instrumentation. Her new work retains that emotional closeness, while in contact with the techno-futurism found in the textures of Tim Hecker, Arca, and Bjork.
While it’s unclear whether we are to take Ziemba’s work as a celebration of rebirth or a warning of a coming eschaton, it seems this pleasant disorientation is precisely what Ziemba pushes us towards – as she sings early on, we are destined for neither. She pulls us along and tells us her story as we are lost in the vast, oft-frightening, and always beautiful soundscape she weaves.
– Ben Ritz