Coming just one year after ‘Chrysalis’, ZANIAS returns with an adventurous new album called ‘Ecdysis’.

The solo vehicle of Alison Lewis who first came into public view as a member of acclaimed dark synth duo LINEA ASPERA, as the album title suggests, the music is the shedding an outer cuticular layer into a new self. Its origins emerged from the same sessions as the more song based material on 2023’s ‘Chrysalis’.

“I call it music from the same planet, just slightly different dimensions”, ZANIAS said to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK, “I made them with many of the same plugins and techniques, just took ‘Ecdysis’ a little further beyond the usual sound structures. I was producing so much music at the time, I wasn’t sure if it would be one long album or two, and then the tracks naturally divided themselves into two camps: the songs with words and the more abstract pieces with no words.”

Brooding and lyric-less, ‘Earthborn’ sets the scene with its other worldly voice texturing and manipulation in tongues. “I was thinking a lot about human evolution and prehistory” Lewis remembered, “I think ‘Earthborn’ was a bit of a soundtrack to how we arrived where we are today. Full of heavy emotion and conflict – hence the sounds of swords and ancient battles”.

Proceedings continue at a moodier tempo on the mantric ‘Mara’ which is heavily influenced by the abstract glossolalia of Lisa Gerrard. Upping to much more frantic pace, ‘Duneskipper’ brings the vocal pitch shifts into a wider deeper spectrum, enhancing the cinematic tension.

The vocal textures are pitched higher and vibratoed to a gentle pulse on the atmospheric Fourth World resonating ‘Acacia’ while the trance-laden ‘Bloodwood’ possesses an eerie quality that absorbs the senses in its cacophony of sound.

Referring to a small bilateral neuronal structure in the brain of vertebrates that can act as a critical node in chronic stress-related anxiety, ‘Habenula’ is like an angel calling to respond and calm while much more ominous, ‘Swim’ evokes slightly more unsettling resonances although ultimately it is escapist.

Bubbly sequences and prominent but minimal beats shape the ‘Ecdysis’ title piece to provide a brighter optimistic closer; embracing a wonderfully mysterious quality, there are hopeful sparkles amongst the strident rhythms.

Is this an instrumental record? Only in the sense of not being conventional songs but Alison Lewis has created an ecstatic language which its creator has said is “Best enjoyed on headphones in total darkness”. Constructed in a whirlwind during a period of adversity, the soothing quality of ‘Ecdysis’ is the sound of things that help make you feel ok when things aren’t ok…

‘Ecdysis’ is released on 16 February 2024 via Fleisch Records (worldwide) and Metropolis Records (North America), available in limited edition blue / white coloured vinyl LP variations, CD and digital formats direct from

Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Tim Darin
14 February 2024