Radar Band Of The Week No:83 – ‘Zulu Winter’

Londoners with anthems in the bag and the future of indie in their sights


“I love London and I love British music, but when I look at what’s coming out of the States… we’re just struggling to produce bands as good as theirs.” Zulu Winter’s guitarist Henry Walton is getting increasingly agitated as he remonstrates about the state of British rock. His frontman, Will Daunt, raises his eyebrows at his bandmate’s comment, before adding wryly: “And there’s your pull quote!”

No matter how Zulu Winter want to be perceived, their newly recorded album ‘Language’, due for release in May, has placed them at the forefront of the new Bratpack of 2012 hopefuls (see also: Peace, Toy, Citizens!). Rumbling comparisons hailing them as ‘the new Vaccines’ have caused a spike in demand both here and across the Atlantic over the past few months, and right now the fivepiece are somewhere in the States, having nervously embarked on a marathon four-week tour there last week. Impressive, considering they only started out as a labour-of-love bedroom project last year. Now under the wing of the same management team responsible for breaking everyone from Crystal Castles to The Cribs, they’re keen to replicate their success – and usher in a new era in Brit indie at the same time.

“If people left their houses they’d know you can go out and see a great band every night here. But there’s still an inflicted narrative of ‘indie’ being that rakish, Libertines-era boys in skinny jeans set-up,” says Will. “Rather than cater to that throwaway culture, it was more important than ever to make an album that was ours, and make it a fucking good one.”

Lofty words indeed, but with soaring anthems like ‘Never Leave’ and ‘We Should Be Swimming’ included on said album (and with both arriving tailor-made for radio, TV and the festivals), there’s more than a mere hint that the buzz surrounding Zulu Winter might actually see them graduate to an altogether higher plane of success. Not that the band are too concerned about going overground, according to Will. “People equate success with good music, but they’re two very different things. With us, we’re solely concerned about making good music…”
Jo Fuertes Knight

Need To Know:

Based: London
For Fans Of: The Maccabees, Friendly Fires
Buy It Now: Single ‘We Should Be Swimming’ is out now, while album ‘Language’ is released on May 14
See Them Live: A UK tour kicks off in early May
Believe It Or Not: Will is a London underground nerd on the sly, eagerly boasting to us that the only tube stops containing all the vowels are Mansion House and South Ealing

This article originally appeared in the March 24th issue of NME

Subscribe here and get NME for £1 a week, or get this week’s digital issue