Zella Day's debut album, Kicker, was released in 2015. She performed at Coachella, toured, and then she took her time. In a climate where artists are told to release song after song to stay relevant with short attention spans, Day took things slow; she became more intentional.
She tells me, "my perspective on myself and the world and music and the way I live within my music and the stories I want to share and how raw the music becomes as you get a little older." Some things have stayed the same about Day's music- her piercing, emotive voice and the vulnerability in her lyrics. Her latest song, "Radio Silence," is heavy.
Steady drums and dreamy synths highlight her sweet voice as she recounts a young relationship that led to an abortion. Day's personal lyrics hit hard, "thе cash inside your wallet, you have anxiеty over pregnancy, so you bought this fuckin' pill for me."
Her voice is almost breaking, and the emotion is so palpable. "How could this happen to me? I happen to be strong, but I couldn't see it was happening to me all along," it breaks down to a quiet interlude that builds into that bursting chorus, a cathartic scream.
The accompanying video, directed by Alex Casnoff, emphasizes the feeling of loneliness, abandonment, and looming fear. It contains shots of empty streets, long drives, and parking lots, while a mysterious figure watches, looming in the background. It feels frantic and unsettling.
The song was written over a year ago, but with everything happening, she wanted it to create a sense of community. She explains, "I thought it was important for the song to be available to anyone that could use the healing, and the storytelling, and create a sense of relationship between people."
That sense of community is something Day has really embodied as an artist. Part of her growth in the industry has been her ability to form a music family. "Radio Silence" features vocals from Miya Folick; Day has been featured in songs with Weyes Blood and Lana Del Rey. "At the end of the day, it's a communal sport," she emphasizes, "we're all kind of in this rat race, and it helps to have a familiar face. I try to focus on the creative aspects of what I do. It's truly the best part."
Focusing on the music is what kept that flame going for Day. She says that artists can't get hooked too much on timelines and when they think things should happen. It's all about endurance, hard work, and having faith. She says, "Everything's going to work out. You can't control the way people are going to respond; you just have to try your best and hope that translates."
In 2021 Zella Day released a handful of tracks, including "Golden," "Dance For Love," "Girls," a duet with Weyes Blood called "Holocene," and a remix of "Golden" by Twin Shadow. Day also appeared on Lana Del Rey's Chemtrails Over the Country Club last year, covering Joni Mitchell with Del Rey and Weyes Blood. Her next record is due in October.