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Yo Zushi
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Yo Zushi
CD Album
Released: 30-Jan-2006
Available from iTunes »
"Just 23 years old, this could be the start of something major - 4 stars & recommended..." - Q Magazine
Three Sparrow Bossa, Mary Magdalen's Barbershop Blues, Green Harbour, Yo Zushi's Christmas Story, "A Tacit Agreement", Panic in the streets, Questions of Travel, Pin Brooch Cabaret, DON'T BREAK THE HEART THAT LOVES YOU
» Tangents
Read it here »
"Okay, so it wouldn't be quite right if I were to make a December listening mix without slipping in one Christmas song, so here it is, courtesy of former Great Days of Sail leader Yo Zushi, from his forthcoming Songs From A Dazzling Drift album (we'll conveniently ignore the fact that it's not due for release on the Pointy label until the start of February 2006). With a title lifted from a Robert Browning poem, the album is a classy collection of intelligently literate folk songs that beat with a left of centre Pop heartbeat. Understated, unaffected yet charmingly affecting, the album ought to set Yo Zushi up as one of the key singer/songwriter talents of 2006. I'm already eager to hear more."
» maverick
"Former leader of one of London's brightest alt.country/indie hopes, the Great Days OF Sail,23 year old Yo Zushi is now creating a stir under his own distinctive name. A singer-songwriter who does more than slow and painful, Yo's mix of upbeat melodies and enchanting lyrics are encircled by quirky Devendra Banhartesque folf (Three Sparrow Bossa), and a Ryan Adams-a-like bittersweet country twang (Mary Magdalen's Barbershop Blues, Panic In The Streets).
The beatles, Donovan and The Kinks all squeeze into the mix with cooing harmonies and a saxophone on the marvellous Yo Zushi's Christmas Story at one end of the sound spectrum, while at the other, Pin Brooch Cabaret is enough to make even Leonard Cohen seem to be waering a smile. 'I know that you are broken, but broken is what I want.' he softly croons. I know that this one's not going to be leaving the stereo for a while."
4 stars
» Dazed & Confused
"Yo Zushi's folk songs have earned him plenty of high profile fans around the world and this, his debut LP, looks certain to raise the bar even higher. A masterclass in storytelling."
» Q Magazine
"Solo debut by former second-hand bookseller. Once the leader of London country-folkers Great Days Of Sail, Yo Zushi (possibly not his real name) is far better suited to the solo life. His playfully eccentric lyrics about life's small moments, plucked acoustic guitar and rollicking rhythms suggest a less ramshackle Badly Drawn Boy or better-adjusted E from Eels, the likes of MAry Magdalens's Barbershop Blues sparkling in the face of a lost love, and even the Leonard Cohen-like Pin Brooch Cabaret tingling with optimism. Just 23 years old, this could be the start of something major."
Andy Fyfe 4 stars Q Recommends
» Uncut
"London Folk scholar's eccentric, beguiling debut. The unwisely monikered Zushi gave an English Lit MA priority over his last folk outfit, Great Days Of Sail. Here, a startling diversity of styles - from Hawaiian steel strums to Spector - can't obscure a world view based in folk mysteries. So the Appalachain acoustics of 'Panic In The Streets' quietly grows into a portrait of demonic apocalypse told through a 'broken mouth' and ' borrowed eyes'. 'Pin Brooch Cabaret" meanwhilw, has the imtimate sensual detail of a Cohen ballad with added sadism. Deliberately haphazard, highly promising."
Nick Hasted. 3 stars
» www.playlouder.com
"Well, 'tis the season to be jolly, after all. And now we can all be delighted that The Darkness and Shawn Lee have been joined IN the great-festive-song-creators-of-the-21st-century pantheon by one of the more engaging singer-songwriters doing the rounds now, especially since he's given us something as heart-out-the-sleeve-and-into-the-gob as 'Last Christmas' replete with a big old bunch of Wizzardy saxophone and more sleigh bells than you can, quite literally, shake a stick at, and churlish would be the churl that couldn't find it in their heart to give this mini-masterpiece all the goodwill they've got going. Ho ho ho!"
» Record Collector
"Yo Zushi has made a contender for the nu-folk canon. Songs From A Dazzling Drift feels at once both fresh and comfortingly old, it's like Devendra Banhart sharing a whiskey sour with Johnny Cash. Yo's lyrics riff from free association with other songs, sayings and poetry. This generation-busting lititierariness might sound pretentious, but Yo's earnest and affecting vocals pull it off. Grow youself a beard, put on a cardy and listen."
» Comes with a smile
"Although Pointy released this album, songs from a dazzling drift' could just as easily have been an Elephant 6 record. It provides cleverly penned tales that are at times silly and at other times haunting. Yo started out his musical journey fronting a band called Great Days of Sail, which perked up the ears of Xfm's John Kennedy and his listeners. They broke up before their ship sailed and Yo used the remaining wind to join the ranks of today's nouveau folk musicians with this, his debut solo album. Though only nine songs call this album home, there is diversity and newness throughout. The sarcastic final track, DON'T BREAK THE HEART THAT LOVES YOU, recalls Neutral Milk Hotel, in its singsong nature and instrumentation. The song Pin Brooch Cabaret is softly strummed and sung, yet it produces horror movie chills that conjure up Black Heart Procession or Nick Cave with the words: "A night owl is out hunting and he hears the song I made for you as it spills from off my tongue." Many first albums by solo artists maintain the same sound throughout because they aren't steady enough in their footing to attempt branching out. Yo has no problem with this and I look forward to see where he goes from here."
Yo Zushi
CD Album
Released: 03-Sep-2007
Download from iTunes »
Yo Zushi
CD Album
Released: 30-Jan-2006
Download from iTunes »
"Just 23 years old, this could be the start of something major - 4 stars & recommended..." - Q Magazine »
Yo Zushi
Download Single Only
Released: 05-Dec-2005
"something as heart - out - the - sleeve - and - into - the - gob as 'Last Christmas'..." - www.playlouder.co.uk »
Yo Zushi
download only single (2 tracks)
Released: 07-Dec-2009
Download from iTunes »
The spirit of Bob Dylan for the 21st Century - Mary Ann Hobbs Radio One »
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In March 2006, Yo Zushi released his debut album, 'Songs From A Dazzling Drift' [Pointy / Bison Manoeuvres]. A collection of lo-fi recordings named after a Robert Browning poem, it received excellent reviews from Q Magazine (****), Maverick (****), Dazed & Confused, Uncut (***) and The Word, whilst garnering the support of Xfm DJ John Kennedy (for whom Zushi played two sessions). Lead single 'Yo Zushi's Christmas Story' was also the Xposure Big One for Christmas week.

Zushi's musical career began when Dazed & Confused Magazine picked his 'Mary Magdalen's Barbershop Blues' demo to be the winning entry for 2004's Re:Creation Prize. Immediately thrust onto its pages and the airwaves of Radio One, Zushi decided to form the Great Days of Sail, a skiffle band that dissolved under the pressure of Zushi's academic obligations. A high-profile series of gigs nevertheless had the band supporting the likes of Micah P. Hinson, Joanna Newsom, Willy Mason and the Magic Numbers.

Yo Zushi has a Masters Degree in Issues in Modern Culture (UCL, London), and is currently freelancing book reviews.

His new album 'Notes For Holy Larceny' will be released on September 3rd 2007, the date of Zushi's 26th birthday.