The second album from Chicago-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist BONZIE, Zone on Nine pulls off the sublime feat of feeling both intensely intimate and otherworldly in scope. “All of my songs basically start as a conversation I’m having with myself alone in my room,” says 21-year-old Nina Ferraro, who’s created under the moniker of BONZIE since age 17. “It’s how I process and interpret things that have happened to me or in life in general; it’s my way of trying to understand the world.”
Throughout Zone on Nine, Ferraro eschews the confessional singer-songwriter approach and claims her role as a fiercely honest observer and commentator who delivers her lyrics with powerful abandon. That self-possessed artistry has earned acclaim from the likes of Spin, Vogue, and Paste, as well as led to praise in the pages of the New York Times (“Delicacy and drama, surrender and anger, made a riveting combination when BONZIE performed,” wrote chief popular-music critic Jon Pareles of a SXSW performance). At the same time, Zone on Nine finds BONZIE greatly expanding her sonic palette—formed from inspirations as eclectic as Tchaikovsky, Gil Scott-Heron, Judee Sill, and the score to Disney’s Mulan—and creating a more intricately composed take on surrealist pop.