The post COVID time of 2022 will go down as one of the best periods of music in modern days. One notable example is Zella Day’s Sunday in Heaven.
Day’s third album was whittled down from 70 songs to the breathtaking 12 of the album. Work on the album began in California with John Velasquez. During quarantine Day and Velasquez traveled to Nashville to record the album at The Neon Church with Jay Joyce. Sunday in Heaven features collaborations with Miya Folick and John Paul White. The end result is an album that should be used as example for others. The sound is a mix of CHVRCHES meets The Beach Boys. The lyrics are fully rendered stories of California mixed with arrangements that touch on dreampop, the 70’s and Roy Orbison. Instead of a retro sound the album has a unique voice that speaks volumes. The lead single is “Mushroom Punch.”
Day has previously released Powered By Love & Kicker and her 2020 EP Where Does the Devil Hide produced by Dan Auerbach. FEMMUSIC was honored to get a few minutes on e-mail to talk to Day about the album. For more info visit Zella Day.
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making Sunday in Heaven (the album)?
ZD: Practicing patience in anticipation for its release. I wrapped recording in 2020 which feels like a lifetime ago.
FEMMUSIC: What were your goals with the album vs your first album?
ZD: I wanted to begin writing every song on acoustic guitar and build the arrangements around traditional song structures. I like starting simple, it’s a good way to examine the quality of a song and ensure you aren’t getting ahead of yourself.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about Jay Joyce. How did you meet him? What made you decide he should produce the album? How was he to work with?
ZD: Meeting Jay felt like meeting an old friend. There is something really familiar about the way he approaches music with a sense of candidness. I could always rely on him to tell the truth without involving any type of ego. He wanted what was best for the songs every step of the way. I had an early conversation with Jay about the direction of the album and I remember really enjoying the adjectives he used to describe the songs I had shared with him, his prospective was concise.
FEMMUSIC: You have a number of collaborators on the album from John Paul White to Miya Folick. Can you describe your songwriting technique with collaborations? What do you look for in someone to work with?
ZD: Techniques vary as do personalities. Every collaboration requires and produces something different. I’ve been sitting for writing sessions since I was a teen. Being around so many different types of writers has made it easy to tell which ones I really jive with. It’s like dating.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music business?
ZD: I would like to see more of an incentive to integrate female producers into the industry. It’s rare that I come across women ran and operated studios. As a working musician in the industry I can say that there is a demand for it.
FEMMUSIC: As a woman in the music business, how have you been discriminated against, and what mechanisms do you use to overcome it?
ZD: Maintaining a firm vision of my creative projects. I find that it helps immensely with communication to be able to present an idea as accurately as possible. I work hard so that I can ask for little.
FEMMUSIC: What song, not your own, has had the biggest influence on you, and why?
ZD: Lucinda William’s “Fruits of My Labor” had a profound impact on me during the writing of my album. The imagery she used in that song was very influential in the writing of Sunday in Heaven.
Los Angeles, CA’s Zella Day is thrilled to release a brand new song called “Golden” today via Concord Records. “Golden” is full of luminous harmonies, a shimmery, skirt-twirling disco beat, and one of the best choruses Day has ever written. A video for the song, directed by Corey “Titanic” Sinclair, and concepted by Day and Titanic, can also be seen today as well.
Says Day about the song, “The Genesis of ‘Golden’ happened as a tornado was tearing through Nashville and whispers of a global pandemic were evolving past a rumor. I was in Alabama writing with John Paul White as my phone was lighting up with messages from friends and family back home. I was supposed to drive back to Nashville that evening, but plans changed like the weather. In the stillness of the studio, ‘Golden’ was written communicating with powers beyond my control, expressing and coping with the magnitude of the situation by creating art; singing a melody into the moment to address its fragility and infinite beauty.“
“Golden” is a taste of Zella Day’s highly anticipated sophomore album, which is due out this fall. Recorded with producer Jay Joyce (Cage The Elephant, Emmylou Harris), the album features guest turns by Local Natives’ Ryan Hahn, Day’s longtime collaborator John Velasquez, drums by Autolux’s Carla Azar, and bass by Cage The Elephant’s Daniel Tichenor.
“Golden” follows the release of the songs “Dance For Love” and “Girls,” and all of them will be featured on Day’s sophomore album. Day’s forthcoming sophomore album follows 2020’s EP, Where Does The Devil Hide, produced by Dan Auerbach, and released by Concord Records.
Day is a recently-announced addition to this year’s ACL lineup for both weekends, in addition to playing this year’s Beachlife Festival, taking place in Redondo Beach, CA the weekend of September 10th, 2021. The singer is also set to open for the acclaimed band Silversun Pickups on select dates this fall.
2021 TOUR DATES:
Date City Venue
Wed Sept 8 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up
Fri Sept 10 – Mon Sept 13 Redondo Beach, CA Beachlife Festival
Sun Sept 12 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst
Tues Sept14 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
Wed Sept 15 Reno, NV Virginia Street Brewhouse
Thurs Sept 16 Napa, CA JaM Cellars Ballroom
Fri Oct 1 – Sun Oct 3 Austin, TX Austin City Limits
The Velveteers, a primal rock trio from the mountains of Boulder, CO made up of singer/guitarist Demi Demitro and drummers Baby Pottersmith and Jonny Fig, will unveil their debut album Nightmare Daydream on October 8 via Easy Eye Sound.
Produced by Grammy Award-winning artist Dan Auerbach, the record is the long-awaited first statement from a band that formed in 2014 and has been carefully honing its sound and identity ever since. “Charmer And The Snake,” the record’s first single, is out today with an accompanying video.
Growing up in Boulder, Demitro rebelled through her guitar, practicing up to nine hours a day and neglecting schoolwork to develop a playing style that is heavy but agile, theatrical but nuanced, grounded in rock history but wholly idiosyncratic. With Pottersmith and Fig playing on a conjoined set, the band developed a reputation for their rip-roaring performances. Clips of the band’s live shows and DIY videos made it back to Auerbach, who invited them to his studio in Nashville to produce Nightmare Daydream.
“I instantly dug them,” says Auerbach. “They’re amazing live, and their videos are so creative. And they just sound so powerful. Any time you doubletrack drums on a record, it’s going to sound so heavy. Then you put that together with this baritone guitar player who is so unique, and it’s so bombastic. There’s nothing like them.”
1. Dark Horse
2. Motel #27
3. Father Of Lies
4. Bless Your Little Heart
5. Charmer And The Snake
6. Brightest Light
7. What A Smile Can Hide
9. Nightmare Daydream
10. Beauty Queens
11. Devil’s Radio
Demitro recalls writing “Charmer And The Snake” with Auerbach and recording it in the first few takes: “It was sort of a synergy moment where we all got in the room together and just started playing.” Pottersmith adds: “It’s about certain types of older guys in music scenes who think they are charming and all that but are just lizards trying to take advantage of you. They think they can manipulate you to get what they want by saying a bunch of nonsense but all the while you are aware of their true intentions and just watch as they talk themselves deep into a ditch of delusions.”
Nightmare Daydream finds The Velveteers stripping down rock and roll to its most primal elements—the riff, the rhythm, the snarl—and rebuilding it in their own image. “We don’t want to sound like a band from a different time,” says Demitro. “We want to sound like a band that’s right here right now—in this very moment.”