SINGLE REVIEW: ZERO by PROJECTOR
This week sees the triumphant return of Brighton three-piece, PROJECTOR, with scorching new single ZERO. It's their first release since 2019's Superstar, injecting an electrifying dose of industrial-punk energy into their already achingly-atmospheric grunge aura.
ZERO sees PROJECTOR step into 2021 at their most exuberant, oozing confidence, clearly making themselves at home in their blistering new sound. Grinding electronics, drum machines and a hyper-energetic urgency all add a zesty grit to PROJECTOR’s classically razor-sharp songwriting and Pixies-esque dual vocals.
Surprisingly fucking catchy for a song full of vitriolic self-loathing and existential dread, ZERO is here to remind us that the unrelenting humdrum of the mundane can often disguise simmering rage, destined to boil over into an uncontrollable explosion of chaos. And that's exactly what this track sounds like.
“The lyrics were written over lockdown about being a useless piece of shit with no discernible purpose” Ed tells us, “Rattling around on autopilot, trying to distract yourself from existence with a new skin care regime.”
The band spent summer 2020 isolated in the South Downs at Agricultural Audio Studios - reunited with producer Ben Hampson - pushing themselves to new heights of experimentalism and abrasiveness, which was clearly a successful endeavour.
“We wrote ZERO in about an hour just before lockdown, so recording it was a joyous sonic adventure because the song was so young and kind of amorphous. We put vocals through amps, layered up synths, threw in endless audio oddments and threw out whole sections when we found a mystery pedal and wanted to make room for some silly guitar solos. We also rewrote the chorus on the final day of recording. I went out and came up with what I thought was a pretty great melody and jogged back to the studio, where I found that Lucy had written and recorded a superior hook in five minutes. No one wanted to hear mine.”
Lucy continues; “My voice was totally shredded by this point in the session, but the melody suddenly turned up and Ben and I immediately scrambled for pen/paper/mic. Ben made me sing the first words I wrote down. I had about three takes in me, that’s what you hear, all there is. It’s an extraverted answer to the internalised dissociation and auto-pilot hell of Edward’s side of the song: after a rough year, personally and on earth, thinking to myself ‘Fuck it, I am what I am, I’ll be alright. Or not. Either’s fine.’ That’s what ZERO is.”
Since forming back in 2017, PROJECTOR have earned themselves a reputation for dynamic, raucous live shows, securing multiple slots at Latitude Festival and The Great Escape, plays on 6Music and supports with the likes of Coven favs such as Kid Kapichi, Tigercub, and Demob Happy. We can't wait to see them live again - fingers crossed it's soon!
Stream ZERO on Spotify and Apple Music
Review by Courtney Myers
Photography by Annie Dorrett