The sound of strumming guitars; the feel of soft, wet clay; the scent of fresh brewed coffee: this was Zella Day’s childhood. Secluded in the quaint mountain town of Pinetop, Arizona, Zella’s creativity flourished with the forest at her doorstep. High above Phoenix Valley, Pinetop holds a population of 7,000, and Zella’s family-owned Mor Mor Coffee House was an only sanctuary for artists. Surrounding herself with local musicians, Zella was inspired to pick up the guitar at a young age. Before long, the blossoming chanteuse started performing sets including Bob Dylan and Elvis songs – selections inspired by her coffee house family. The native Arizonan had found a calling in music and used it as a form of self-realization, penning her experiences and discovering herself through the intricacies of song. She drew inspiration from the serene Arizona mountains and turned to Clint Eastwood, old Western films, and cowboy rebel culture to help shape the attitude behind her music. The result is a raw, organic sound unconfined by the boundaries of genre. It effortlessly floats between the tonalities of female frontier-maker Stevie Nicks and art pop songbird Lana Del Rey while invoking imagery painted by Old Arizona and a free-spirited perspective.
To date, Zella Day’s music has barely crossed paths with the outside world; however, her short series of self-released demos and collaborations caught fire throughout the indie community. One such supporter of her undeniable talent was the boutique music press outlet B3SCI. Having recently formed a singles record imprint, B3SCI was undoubtedly the natural home for the songwriter’s first official offering to the world.
Her debut and two-track single leads with “Sweet Ophelia,” a blending of personal encounters in an eerie resemblance to that of Hamlet’s Ophelia. Crunching drum machines and menacing electronics juxtapose Zella’s airy croons as she sings about the sanctity of physical connection, powerfully portraying both the majesty and fragility of letting love consume you. The B-side, “1965,” takes a more straightforward approach, showcasing Zella’s strong voice atop soft, pattering drums and fluttering guitars. The lyrics tell a story about finding a genuine connection among a sea of inauthenticity. Moreover, the track celebrates its title – the year that a generation united despite a delusive society.
On April 7th, B3SCI Records released ‘Sweet Ophelia / 1965’ on limited edition 7-inch clear vinyl. The tracks were brought to life at Los Angeles’s WAX LTD. Studios with the production and mixing prowess of Xandy Barry and Wally Gagel. This debut collection showcases a young songstress’ visceral visions and liberated mentality, while foreshadowing the depth of a long career that’s yet to come.
1. Sweet Ophelia