The xx, Billie Eilish
" Charming Pinterest pop "
In a time when radio hits usually arrive with a loud bang, full of in-your-face bombast, zalagasper definitely broke the mould. In 2018, the tentative lapping of their first single ‘Valovi’ (‘Waves’) got stuck in Slovenian listeners’ ears gently, all soft murmurs and tinkling production, hinting at greater things to come. We didn’t have to wait long.
Before they found each other and portmanteaued their names and lives, Zala Kralj was gradually making a name for herself doing covers on YouTube, and Gašper Šantl was a fledgling producer who went from high school to working in a music studio in Prague and cycling all over Europe. When they got together, everything clicked – her tender voice, his fragile production, their cutesy couple awkwardness, and vintage-inspired imagery winning over gen Z and boomers alike. They pulled off a surprise upset in the national Eurovision contestant selection and made it to the finals of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, which introduced them to a global audience that immediately warmed to them.
Since then, they’ve signed to UMG and released their debut full-length and a bunch of carefully crafted videos, further establishing both their sound and their visual aesthetic. Their cosiness seems to be here to stay, and in times like these, that’s a very comforting thought indeed.