Sadly, the retro queen Lana Del Rey only has so many tracks you can play on loop before you drive yourself and all of your friends crazy. Thankfully, I have a solution. Zella Day, a singer-songwriter originally from Arizona, has the same indie-pop feel, and I bet you’ve barely delved into her repertoire.
Day’s first release was in 2012 when she covered The White Stripes’ hit track “Seven Nation Army.” Her song, “Sacrifice,” was featured on “The Divergent Series: Insurgent,” and her first full-length album, “Kicker,” dropped June 29, 2015. Fairly new to the indie scene, she definitely doesn’t have the fan base she is more than capable of gaining.
For a point of reference, Day's songs evoke the feel of Del Rey’s “Off to the Races,” “Dark Paradise,” “Blue Jeans,” “Video Games” and “Sad Girl.” These songs embody the dreamlike, enchanting ballads and the unapologetically raw and independent fast-paced jams where both artists have found their niche.
One of Day's songs that is distinctly reminiscent of Del Rey is “1965.” Comprised of longing, soulful lyrics paired with sultry, raw vocals, 1965 will have chills running down your back and have you reaching for photographs of a lost beloved. Another is “East of Eden,” a bass-heavy track with catchy percussion. It's an exciting dance song, but it’s also a powerful track with unconventional lyrics.
“Hypnotic” has the aggressively confident and sexy attitude typical of Del Rey with lyrics such as, “I wanna be on the front line / knotted up suit ties talkin’ like a headstrong mama / gotta picture in your wallet / makin' me a habit / wearin' your vintage t-shirt / tie ribbons on ya top hat / tellin' me I'm all that.” Day has her own unique style as she proves in this upbeat, radio-ready hit.
“Jameson” with low, desperate vocals matched with acoustic guitar highlight a different side of Day, showing that she can own many styles of music.
“Mustang Kids” is a hip jam combined with a vibrant chanting of “mustang kids are out,” in an ode to kids and to being a free, reckless teenager. Day references her past where she “grew up in a trailer with a dream of f------ centerfolds / now I'm making money experimenting with chemicals / the fact I'm still alive is why I still believe in miracles.” Although she incessantly talks about drugs and boredom, this song doesn’t come off as trashy. You want to chant along and be a part of the “small-town gang” who are “doing what we want and don't take no s---."
One of the most popular tracks, “High,” has a very smooth and dreamlike melody that could definitely be see on a Del Rey record. You can clearly hear her voice as she explodes with “Don’t worry baby / don’t you cry / as long as we keep getting high,” but in softer moments of the song she croons, “we are high.”
As Del Rey fans, it’s hard to imagine anyone coming close to the perfection and grace that is Del Rey, but if you’re searching for an artist with a similar vibe and one who can truly hold her own, Day is worth listening to.