Growing up the son of a preacher man, Vancouver’s Marty Zylstra fell in love with music at an early age, singing in gospel choirs all over rural Canada.
As he grew older, his sonic appetite grew larger, delving into the sounds of 60s rock pioneer John Lennon and 90s grunge heavyweights Nirvana. Marty felt inspired by the diverse array of deeply cathartic songwriters of such timeless eras, incorporating the charming whimsy of the 60s and the alluring edge of the 90s into the music he creates today.
Throughout his many years playing music, Marty has shared the stage with some of Canadian music’s biggest names such as Tegan and Sara, Metric, Sam Roberts, The Trews, and Mariana’s Trench. He has had his music featured in several television shows such as MTV’s Real World, Degrassi Jr. High, and Pimp My Ride.
No stranger to loss, Marty’s music possesses a heart-wrenching yet uplifting nature. A beautiful dichotomy that is rare to find. With his latest record released last month, Marty is showing no signs of slowing down. Boom Chicka is an album that induces both goosebumps and questionable dance moves.
Marty shares on Boom Chicka,
“Upon realizing that my art needed to be more truthful lyrically and to my heart after the release of my last record, I wanted to make sure that the songs held strong meaning to me before making any decisions on the final tracklisting. I feel like this is my best work but also possibly more fun than the last record. Writing an album in the middle of pain or grief or turmoil can capture a certain audience but having come through to the other side I have a new perspective on life and love and what the meaning of life is – it’s love, right? That’s it, love is the meaning. Most of these songs are about love, life, and the human condition. With some of the lyrics, I wanted to stand on my own preverbal soapbox and tell the world my observations and opinions on fixing everything, if you will. We should stand together and love each other. I mean, why not finally give peace a chance – it’s good advice don’t you think?”
Setting the tempo for the record is the alt-rock track, “The Music.” A slow-burn forcefully ignited by the sound of riveting guitar work and hard-hitting drums. Music is all about feeling. The opening track explores the transcending experience music can make one feel and reminds us that music is all around us. Buckle up and get ready for what will be an exhilarating adventure!
“Rattle The Glass” sustains the upward momentum with a feverish anthemic chorus and steady backing beat. An encouraging song of raw emotion and authenticity, “Rattle The Glass” shows us the importance of making “noise” and standing up for what we believe in, especially given today’s social climate.
As we progress through the record, we are presented with “Shine So Bright.” A Beatles-esque track that gives off a “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” feel, both visually and musically, as if staring into a kaleidoscope of colour, while whirling around in a fantasy realm. Catapulting the listener into a dream of sunshine and rainbows, the song highlights a love, longing to be held on to.
“Change The World” preaches the idea of uniting the feelings of peace and love in order to become one with each other and make a difference in the world each day. “Are we giving peace a chance today? / We can change the world if we love.” With countries built on lies and greed, this song is a call to action. It is time to fight the good fight.
Closing out the record, “People I Love” is an homage to all things 60s and a hope for peace. Again, channeling the Beatles in a tune that sees Marty devoting his life to the ones he loves while looking forward to a better tomorrow. “The sky is blue and so are you.”
Sometimes people tend to give up hope that they can expect anything more of life the minute tragedy strikes. When in actuality, the real journey is finding out what life expects of them. Marty has done just that. Using his talents to convey the message of “life is what you make of it.” We are all finding our way in this world one day at a time.
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