August 7, 2007


The intriguing and eclectic body of work from Canadian one-man-band ZWERG is described as a lyrical journey into the spirit realm, and a musically genre-transcending, psychedelic hybrid of melodic electronica, ethereal dream-pop, emotive alt-rock, whimsical acid jazz, shoe-gazer twee-pop, and contemporized folk. Sounds diverse indeed, but for some curious and unknown reason, it is cohesive. The ‘otherworldliness’ of it all seems to provide an impenetrable thread of continuity throughout. This undoubtedly has much to do with the credo of individualism this inarguably atypical Canadian artist champions with a vengeance…

The word “zwerg” is German and translates as “dwarf”. ZWERG mastermind Eldon Thiele chose this musical moniker because a significant amount of ancestral Germanic blood circulates through those Atlantic Canadian veins of his, and because numerous legends depict dwarves as tenacious warriors of superior pluck! However, according to Thiele, dwarves are all too often dismissed as feeble misfits… Therefore, ZWERG has totally committed himself to defending the misunderstood, the underdog. For there will come a day, Thiele says, when “the last will be first, when the rejected will be restored unto their Inceptor, The Oneness.”

ZWERG is a unique incarnation in that it is stylistically unrestricted, visually avant-garde, and immaterially, spiritually renewing. Though not conservatively religious in any respect, ZWERG’s lyrics are often based on such concepts as the mortality of humanity and the immortality of the soul; the physical versus the metaphysical, as it were. ZWERG is inapprehensive of exploring controversial issues such as hypocrisy in religion, and the realities of the supernatural. His music leads people through a sonic door, to a place where they can sample the surrealistic aesthetic of the Sublime, while still subsisting in the often mundane and depressing natural realm.

ZWERG’s 2005 DVD single tO STaNd, KnEeL stars Gordon Lightfoot’s grandson, Johnny Hoermann, as a Halfling in the single’s accompanying video. Lightfoot was considerably impressed with this release, having bestowed gushing accolades upon Thiele and his skills as a writer and producer. Interestingly enough, and quite appropriate to the fantasy life lived by Thiele through ZWERG, it is indeed the stuff of myth and legend that Thiele and Hoermann ended up meeting, collaborating, and befriending one another. For Thiele’s parents actually met during a 1971 Gordon Lightfoot concert at Gordon College outside of Boston, Massachusetts. And though Thiele grew up in Moncton, New Brunswick, and Hoermann (14 years Thiele’s junior) in rural-suburban Ontario, their paths intersected in 2002 as if in some divine twist of fate. Stranger still is the fact that the boys were completely unaware of each other’s familial identities until a year after their introduction.

The spring of 2007 brings considerable excitement to the ZWERG camp with the highly anticipated release of ZWERG’s 3rd full-length album iNTo tHe 4tH diMeNsiOn, no doubt his most comprehensive and compelling work to date. Though still decidedly distinctive and uncompromising in its execution, 4tH diMeNsiOn is surprisingly radio-friendly with its catchy hooks and accessible chorus melodies that seem to grow on the listener with repeated listens. This album was preceded by Played Wits (2000), and the Rick White (frontman of Erics’ Trip /Elevator) produced To Myopic Mutts (1998) and Sepsis EP (1997).

Jorgen Bremenger

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