Michael Zapruder is an incredibly talented San Francisco singer-songwriter. He's been on our radar for quite some time, having received considerable acclaim for his 2006 sophomore release New Ways of Letting Go (Howells Transmitter). That album was a terrific blend of rock, folk and chamber pop buoyed by strong contributions from an impressive arsenal of friends and fellow musicians known as the Rain of Frogs. Zapruder released the follow up album, Dragon Chinese Cocktail Horoscope, in late October 2008 on SideCho Records. Once Zapruder returned from a national tour in support of the album, we sat down for an interview.
The new album is certainly worth the wait. Dragon Chinese Cocktail Horoscope incorporates many of its predecessor's attributes -- a large cast of skilled supporting players, strong melodies and intriguing lyrics -- but it's also clearly a statement of progress for Zapruder. Notable producer Scott Solter worked with the artist to give the album its landscapes, and the two have created a dynamic work full of orchestral flourishes and musical surprises. In capturing a strong songwriter-as-auteur vision tempered by the freedom to improvise and experiment, Zapruder's latest is the sort of album that begs for -- and ably rewards -- repeat listens.
We're pleased to feature four songs from Dragon Chinese Cocktail Horoscope in addition to the interview.