First releasing with Accidental in back in 2017, the working partnership between Zilla and label boss Matthew Herbert has been more than fruitful. Their work together thus far has seen support from respected taste makers including Huw Stevens, Don Letts and John Kennedy and their first single “Get Your Way” sound tracked Elle UK’s most successful campaign ever #MoreWomen #ELLEFeminism.
Sitting somewhere between the crunch of the avant garde and the joy of a good hook, Zilla With Her Eyes Shut is an album of deeply personal stories from Zilla’s life. These range from memories of childhood trauma, mysterious injuries sustained sleepwalking and coming to terms with the voices in her head, all delivered through Zilla’s powerful, arresting and at times haunting vocal performance. The sonic narrative parallels this lyrical content with tracks being built from the sounds of objects relating to the song’s subject matters. These include a book, a lightbulb, a hair pin, a stone and Zilla’s own sleep talking. Speaking about this approach, Herbert commented, “I like the fact that Zilla can sit at a piano and bash out some Rachmaninov and Debussy, but chose instead to make an ahead-of-its-time record out of the ephemera of ordinary life. It bristles with the friction of real life as opposed to the comfort of the recording studio.”
Connecting dots between RnB, vocal pop and leftfield electronic experimentalism, the album opens with the bold and menacing statement “Get Ready.” The interplay of Zilla’s catchy harmony led vocals and Herbert’s playful production provide plenty of engaging moments throughout, with earworms like “Remember” and “In My Head.” At the half-way mark the album takes a sharp turn further to the leftfield with the off-kilter timings and staccato samples of “Cut Me Boy,” before making way for the softer sonics of “Rainbows” and “Desire.” Following the latest single “Whisper Whisper,” the record closes with the melancholic triumph, “Paris.”
Get it here.