A couple of months ago, Your EDM introduced Zilla With Her Eyes Shut in our New Artist Profile series with a single off her then upcoming LP called “Whisper Whisper.” With a unique jazz-and-electronic fusion style and a story to tell, Zilla’s self-titled LP adds to that initial track and exceeds expectations.
While “Whisper Whisper” was a beautiful and complex track, it didn’t fully reveal the scope of Zilla’s sound, as it’s one of the most jazz-forward tracks on the album and the electronic and elements take more of a back seat. With the opening track “Get Ready,” however, Zilla and producer Matthew Herbert make it clear that this project is not your average jazz fusion. It’s not your average anything.
Zilla’s closest recent style relative on this LP is probably FKA Twigs but there are also elements of Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Rhianna and even Tangerine Dream in the makeup of each song, not to mention the jazz and blue influence. The afore-mentioned “Get Ready” has the intensity and cinematic grandeur of a Kate Bush with a little more modern pop cachet. It’s a great intro song and really introduces the album, both in name and deed.
Directly following “Get Ready” is “The Sleepwalker,” which has a completely different feel to it. Still very avant garde, “The Sleepwalker” has a core of funk and reggae that both gets the listener grooving but still has the intensity established in the first track. By this point it should be clear to audiences that the album is meant to tell a story and make a cohesive musical statement. Each track takes the listener to a slightly different place but the energy and progression of the music is the unifying factor.
The diverse and intense journey continues through the album with house-and-techno-driven tracks like “Get Your Way,” “In My Head,” and “Whatever It Is,” alternative pop in tracks like “Remember” and “Rainbows” and tracks that are more the indie side of both pop and electronica like “Little Things,” “Cut Me Boy” and “Paris.” “Cut Me Boy” even has a heavy halftime beat and sound design that would fit right in on Noisia’s Division label or in a Shades set.
There’s a little something for everyone on Zilla With Her Eyes Shut, though pleasing the masses probably wasn’t the intention of Zilla and Herbert. It’s clear they were fiercely dedicated to their own style, emotions and artistic vision on this album in a way that makes it authentic and complex even when it ventures into pop territory. The album really traverses genre and style in a way that not been seen before. Danceable and deep, interesting and groovy, Zilla With Her Eyes Shut if poised to become a new cult favorite of the EDM, pop, electronica and hip hop scenes and beyond.