Zella Day’s long awaited EP, Where Does the Devil Hide, has been released into the world. Coming back with a fresh sound, Zella Day’s “wild west” days of Kicker that once mesmerized fans may have become a thing of the past, but her latest tracks reveal a new and exciting side to Zella Day that we still have yet to fully see.
Five years is a long while to be away from the music world, and though long awaited by fans, her new music is nothing short of surprising, and oh, so groovy.
Before teasing the EP on social media, Day surprised fans with her first comeback single last October; a cover of “You Sexy Thing,” by Hot Chocolate. This rendition of the one-hit-wonder gave her fans a mere glimpse into what she had to offer into the music world next. Where Does the Devil Hide is much more than a modern twist to 1960’s-80’s disco, pop, and soft rock. It’s a complete refusal to be constrained by one genre as it differs so greatly from her debut album.
Released one at a time throughout the summer, Zella Day’s new music trickled out in small bites, to be digested and taken apart slowly alongside each artistically produced and visually inspiring music video. The EP contains five songs, all with their own beautiful and unique style and meaning.
“People Are Strangers,” takes an introspective look into her past, while unveiling a spellbinding soundscape of calming acoustic guitar, bass, and soft drums. Day’s lilting vocals are old in soul as she reveals her discovery of the bad side of a lover.
Admittedly, she says that the song was written on her bathroom floor as she mused about the pain in discovering the ugliness in someone you thought you knew, only to find you don’t know them so well after all.
Hypnotic and grooving, “My Game” is nothing short of Zella’s genre-bending skills in songwriting and musicality. The song’s seventies vibes are thrown back into this year with Zella’s haunting vocals.
The song allures any listener into getting their groove on and longing for nothing but more disco. The music video is beautifully crafted, sleek and sexy with an old soul for mystery, leather gloves, and vintage cars.
“It is a feverish time travel into every dimension where the hustle is on the floor,” Zella revealed about the latest track. “It’s a disco game board with a pair of cherry red dice rolling in my favor. I’m climbing up onto the table in my glitter platforms and I’m calling the shots” (1).
“Purple Haze” is a stunning and catchy tune about the warm feelings of summer love and enjoying the simple pleasures in life. The song refuses to stay confined in a box, and instead provides an anthem of relaxation and a “no pressure” attitude. With psychedelic visuals, the music video takes its viewers through a sultry trip of Zella’s mind as she takes in a joint with lights blaring in all directions around her.
“When I lived in downtown LA, I would hum this melody while strolling to the market in the mood for something sweet,” states Zella. “All of those perfect Saturdays with nothing to do but eat oranges and daydream.”
“Only a Dream” is filled with richly poetic lyrical content that would make any fellow oldies lover swoon. The song totally refreshes the genre with catchy new tunes, without abandoning the way things were done over the span of forty years of soulful heartache and love songs.
This track is much more than pretty sounding words. Its substance digs deep into the vulnerable and hidden parts of ourselves, and cuts it open and raw, forcing feeling in our gut about love and hurt and finding happiness. Its sound throws us back to 70’s-80’s pop with the flat drum beat and keyboard, but doesn’t lack in feeling or content.
Along with the single, Zella Day dropped a music video contrasting the old soul sounds with relaxing summer Southern California beach visuals. The song paired with the video creates a unique experience and twist to a chilled beachy summer track that you could watch and listen to on repeat, while feeling substantially more fulfilled with its poetic lyrics and simply beautiful visuals.
Concluding the EP, “Benny My Dear” is a sweet, old-fashioned love song, throwing us back to the sweet groovy rock and roll while conveying a heartfelt message to a lover who is struggling with their self worth. “I just wanna tell you when you’re down on yourself/I won’t be out looking ’round for nobody else,” Zella’s voice coos and comforts.
Though the world around us is a little insane, and many are struggling, “Benny My Dear,” seems to be an encouraging message to anyone who’s needing a little pick-me-up.
Where Does the Devil Hide is much more than a new sound from Zella Day. It’s the first warmth of sunshine we feel on a cloudy day as we face our inner and outer demons in a dark time.
I’ve gotten a better hold on my artistry and realized that I want to offer a safe place within my music: a tangible happiness. I really want to believe that art can manifest ideas into reality, and I want to use that to bring good intentions into being–both within myself and other people… As much as it’s important to me to express my darker and sadder sides, I make sure to bring out that lighthearted side, too. With all the division that’s happening in the world, everybody needs a little lightheartedness right now.
~ Zella Day
Stream the EP on Spotify now!