UK avant-pop artist Zilla With Her Eyes Shut will release “Whisper Whisper” on February 14. The song is from her forthcoming self-titled album, slated to drop March 13, via Accidental Records.
Explaining the song, Zilla says, “This story comes from the childhood trauma I went through, I started hearing whispers in my head when I was about 10, right about the time I started playing piano. It is a joyful track because the imaginary friend made me feel like I wasn’t alone and instead of acting out the violence, at least it only happened in my head as a big explosion of sounds, words and colours.”
Born and raised in Paris, Zilla studied classical piano at a conservatoire in Paris for ten years, followed by moving to London when she was 18. Zilla says, “Piano taught me how to escape – whether it was home, school or the world – and find a place where I could be pure and honest with myself.”
In London, she began blending piano with hip-hop beats into a surreal transnational sound mirroring her family heritage. Her mother is the Ivory Coast’s ambassador to Denmark, while her chemistry professor father fled Guinea’s dictatorship during the ‘70s. Zilla’s unique sound amalgamates shadowy Parisian savors with out of the ordinary dance and electro-pop relishes.
Recorded with innovative producer Matthew Herbert, the album utilizes objects as speculative instruments, including bottles, rustling pages of a book, a large stone, a light bulb, a pillow, and a hairpin.
“Working with Matthew Herbert was an incredible opportunity,” Zilla says. “I was always a fan of his work, especially the Roisin Murphy album. I wasn’t aware that he liked working with objects, an idea I found super-exciting but also daunting.”
Prior to working with Herbert, Zilla wrote for artists such as Tinie Tempah and a group of hip-hop producers called Wretch32 with Yogi.
“Whisper Whisper” opens on oscillating industrial sounds topped by breathy vocalizations, followed by the entry of Zilla’s dreamy suffusing voice, light and hushed, yet penetrating. Exotic vocal harmonies infuse the mechanized pop flavors of the tune with glowing radiance, as well as gleaming resonance.
The flow of the melody rolls on teeter-tottering rhythmic patterns, tantalizing and elusively familiar, nonetheless singularly inimitable, rife with tropical hues.
With “Whisper Whisper,” Zilla With Her Eyes Shut delivers deliciously nuanced avant-pop music, full of ozone smelling mists and lush alluring surfaces.
At the present time, only one track from the imminent album is available – “The Sleepwalker,” displaying Zilla’s beguiling sound.