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Neave Zaria’s latest track ‘Never The Same’ is a soft yet impassioned exploration of our deepest infatuations and frustrations. The composition is steady but energetic, and the jazz spirit comes in hot from the get-go. Zaria’s voice bears a strong resemblance to that of the greatest blues singers of all time: Etta James and Aretha Franklin. The most modern comparisons would be to Adele and Norah Jones, but even then there’s a striking vulnerability in Zaria’s vocals that makes her stand apart.

It helps that the English singer is just nineteen, but she demonstrates a superb ability at striking the emotional chords just right. She drags the notes when she needs to, releases them when it’s appropriate — it’s purely magical to see her glide through the melody with equal parts ease and angst. What is so mesmerizing about her style is her enunciation; some words are cut short whereas some are stretched thin.

Zaria’s voice fits the harmony in that she takes risks with her vocal riffs and doesn’t abide by the strict rules of the production. The instrumentation backs her up well, too. With the empowering jazz arrangement, complete with trumpets, saxophones and some sweet doses of the bass, there is something wildly contemporary about the tune. It’s got all the classic jazz and blues hallmarks, such as Zaria’s abrasive, deep voice, a restrained but thrilling tempo, and a warm blend of wooden instruments.

But there is something about the subject matter itself and Zaria’s delivery that would make it highly relevant to the youth listening to the tune today. Over the course of the composition, you’ll be able to distinguish her trying to juggle competitive urges. “I’ll always love you but it’ll never be the same” is just one of the lyrics that hint at Zaria’s own values and experiences.

The track, released officially on July 3rd, marks as the third single from Zaria’s upcoming debut album. England has produced an army of smoky-voiced jazz-influenced female artists, and Neave Zaria is the latest goddess to join the ranks.

She’s already shown herself to have a solid handle on her production, and with a voice so fiery and exhilarating, this song could easily go on to become the next staple in lounge bars and jazz hotspots. Zaria was personally approached to compete in the Bootcamp level of X-Factor at just fourteen — turns out there was no force in the world to stop the breakout of this young singer from Guildford.

‘Never The Same’ was also selected as BBC Introducing’s ‘Track of the Day’ and has been played on BBC Surrey, Oxford and Brighton.

Listen on Spotify


By staff

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