Zulu Winter brings brains to their beats


Special To The Japan Times

“That sounds very English, doesn’t it?” says Zulu Winter frontman Will Daunt of his refusal to get carried away by the fact his band has spent the start of 2012 as many critic’s tip for the top. “I don’t want to sound like a miserable git, but we really haven’t done much yet.”

Five school friends from London (“There is no room for ego, if one of us was like, ‘Let’s f-cking have it, let’s snort coke off her stomach,’ then the others would say, ‘What are you doing?’ “), Zulu Winter only came to people’s attentions in September of last year but their brand of “melancholic-but-danceable pop” has created a stir: after just two singles of Foals-meets-Wild Beasts splendor, Zulu Winter are winning acclaim for putting intelligence back on the dancefloor.

“My lyrics are influenced by poets like T.S. Elliot, I like imagination. I don’t write lyrics like ‘Boy meets girl, has problems’ or about drink and drugs, I’m not interested. There is more depth to it.”

Daunt wears those influences on his sleeve, with the band’s fascinating online blog detailing the books, films, poets, artists and music the members of Zulu Winter admire.

“People will think it is pretentious, but we aren’t forcing people to look at it. Bands can portray a homogenic image of themselves, as if they are all the same mind and on clear vision, but we’re not like that. There are five different voices in the band.” Just don’t mention the hype. “We’re not getting carried away. It’s nice, but we don’t see ourselves as ‘the big this’ or whatever. We want to be about our music.”

Zulu Winter plays Hostess Club Weekender on Feb. 18 (3:15 p.m.; ¥7,900 for a one-day pass). For more information, visit