Zella Day


(Universal); Pop

By ​Phil ​Bennett

A true distillation of contemporary influences (Lana Del Rey, Florence and the Machine etc), and yet at the same time unique, relative newcomer Zella Day’s debut album proper, Kicker, jumps out of the starting blocks and just kicks on from there.

The opening track, Jerome, is a nicely simmering cauldron of emotion that threatens to boilover, raising the temperature just enough with its tasty chorus and then pulling back for the verses just enough to hint at Day’s possibilities.

This is followed by the glorious High, a song almost bursting with spirit and vigour, all thundering drums, quivering vibrato and another chorus that flies over the lot like a bird in flight.

This is very majestic stuff, and most of the material here is dead on target, with most of these songs being fabulous examples of evocative, life affirming pop music.

There’s a real sense of drama that pervades, and you can almost smell the melancholia, but she seems to have this capacity to break through any self pity with a voice that spells survival and pumps out the melodies like a raised fist.

As a vocalist, her delivery is emphatic and she gives of herself with an engaging freshness but with a strength that says “yes but only because I want to”.

The production is busy without causing distraction and Day’s breathtaking voice is allowed to soar without restraint.

Sweetly hypnotic, Kicker is a fabulous debut from a wonderful talent who deserves to go places.


​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.