Zimbru is an art-rock band from Cluj-Napoca, Romania composed of Teodora Retegan, Paul Bucovesan, Andrei Bobiș and Oana Pop. Their sound can be described as a wild mix of raspy synthesizers, angular guitar riffs and lively percussion all topped off by stories of dancing, lost pets, real love and nostalgia for never experienced past decades.
Formed in 2017, the band spent their first two years writing, recording and crafting a tight and exhilarating live show. In early 2019 the band made their stage debut and put out their first release – a live recording of Dog Heaven performed at the Cirkular studio. (listen here)
This release was closely followed by the band’s first ever single release – Divination – the first track off their debut EP. (listen here: https://smarturl.it/DivinationSingle) Divination has enjoyed remarkable success – it entered heavy rotation on national radio, it quickly amassed thousands of plays across streaming platforms and received great critical reception. Mystic Sons wrote: “Romanian outfit bring the same otherworldly sound as Anna Calvi to their newest electro pop swoon.”. The track was released alongside an absurdist, surrealist video directed by Irina Alexiu. (watch here: https://smarturl.it/DivinationVideo)
The summer months following the release of Divination saw the band playing all of Romania’s major music festivals, to great acclaim. British magazine NME wrote the following before Zimbru’s show at Electric Castle, one of their biggest shows of the summer: “Mixing skittering electronic beats with powerful vocals and glittering production, this lot’s hometown show (they’re from Cluj-Napoca, which is just down the road from Electric Castle) is well worth catching.”
On September 27th Zimbru released their second single, Little Creatures, along with a camp, faux fairy-tail music video, marking the second collaboration between the band and director Irina Alexiu. (listen/ watch here: https://smarturl.it/LittleCreatures) Fashioned around 80’s power ballad drums, sprawled sequencers and longing translated into synth and guitar melodies the song caught the ears of several critics – Mystic Sons wrote: “Romanian outfit channel the euphoric sound of The Japanese House with this uplifting electro-pop delight” while Loud Women named Little Creatures track of the day.
The band released their debut EP on November 8th via Cirkular. This record shares the same name with their second single, Little Creatures. (while also nodding to one of the band’s big influences, The Talking Heads) The EP consists of four tracks – Divination, Little Creatures, Terejo and Dyo – and represents the very essence of Zimbru’s sound and aesthetics. (listen here: https://smarturl.it/LittleCreaturesEP) The band started to get more international attention after their debut EP release. In a feature article, Europavox praised the band’s charming debut: “Labeled as a breath of fresh air in the Eastern-European space, one cannot help but fall in love with Zimbru again and again.”.
2020 put a halt on things, as it did for everyone else – the band postponed all shows with the exception of their online performance for WAVES VIENNA (watch here: https://smarturl.it/ZimbruLiveAtWaves), where they debuted their brand new double single, The Ground / Slow Disco, released just a few weeks before the festival, at the end of August. The Ground is a call to kinship with the life around us and a celebration of the ground as a life giving & life supporting system all wrapped up in an unforgettable psych-pop track. The video for The Ground is the band’s first foray into a more do-it-yourself approach to video-making after the previous two singles, Divination and Little Creatures (watch the video & listen here: https://smarturl.it/TheGroundVideo)
2021 served as a super creative year for the band as they completed new songs for their upcoming EP, worked on new videos & for a short time, a glorious return to the stage for the summer festivals.