New classical sounds
LA native, Elizabeth “Z” Berg or just Z Berg is solo, but never alone. Z Berg founded several bands, like The Like (now PHASES) or collaborated with former Panic! At the Disco member Ryan Ross on Dead End Kids Club. Z Berg’s newest album Get Z to A Nunnery is her first solo album. On her official website, she describes her own sound as follows: “If Laura Palmer didn’t die… and Roman Polanski made a movie about her twenties, scored by Andre Previn, with lyrics by Scott Walker, sung by Dusty Springfield.” This description can tell the listener a few things: Z Berg is sophisticated and sensitive while fusing it with an insatiable amount of creativity and expression. Her website also credits multiple supporting artists, such as Phoebe Bridgers, who just released her newest album.
Get Z to A Nunnery begins with previously released songs like “To Forget You.” Z Berg’s voice and the remarkable string instruments could be right out of a black and white film. The song is dreamy at times, but her vocals are always compelling, putting a spell on the audience. “I Fall for The Same Face Every Time” was also previously released as a single. The piano contributes a soft and almost melancholic, hazy sound. “Time Flies” starts off so soft and delicate; Z Berg seems to sing directly to the audience, building a secure connection with one, and capture their attention. During the chorus, the instruments get a little darker and stronger.
“Into The Night” starts with the piano, but the songs melody is a lot more hypnotic and dark, a gloomy feeling that is very much welcomed. It’s one of the highlight tracks that reminds people of classic musicals because it’s like a dark goth version of “All my Favorite Things” from Sound of Music. “Calm Before the Storm” leads the listener back to Z Berg’s dreamworld. Soft guitar and strings magically support her vocals. With “Little Colonel,” she seems to nail the current society with lyrics like: “The world must be an awful place/ When you can’t let go.”
Another highlight track on the album follows. “Berg and I” has this captivating sound that will take hold of the audience and won’t let go until the end. The lyrics feel like a poem, proving the great songwriting of Z Berg. “Charade” is a soft song that feels fitting for a lovely Sunday afternoon on the beach. The following song, “The Bad List,” was previously released as a Christmas song back in 2018. The song is a duet featuring Ryan Ross. Her classic sound makes the perfect love/Christmas song. Get Z to A Nunnery ends on a very dreamy note, with an instrumental “Epilogue.”
The amazing thing about the album and the lyrics are that they open for interpretation, so listeners can always find a line to relate. Lyrics like that make the album sophisticated and different, but the vocals and the arrangements of instruments make the album a highlight of the indie genre. The listener can clearly hear Z Berg’s style and has time to fall in love with her. The chamber music style is not something people hear a lot, so it’s actually a fresh sound even though it’s inspired by classical music. Get Z to a Nunnery is a strong debut album starting Z Berg’s solo career and people should be excited about her future work.