NEW ALBUM: Zhala – Zhala
I’m In Love was my unofficial favorite song of last year: I just love how it builds, very much like the titular feeling, with anticipation, anxiety and joy until it fades out in uncertainty. After this song opening, Zhala’s debut album it is a challenge to hold that level. On the other hand, maybe she was hoping to get that track out of the way, before she shows what else she has to offer.
Zhala is often introduced as Robyn’s protégé – they toured together and she’s the only signee of Robyn’s label – and you can hear that connection throughout the album. Their vocal styles are similar and for much of the album it seems that Zhala aims for the same stage where Robyn is at home: in front of a thousand raving fans. That’s ok, but in the end I prefer the tracks where she shows more restraint, like Lunch or Efter Livet.
While Zhala cannot possibly keep the level of its opener, it’s is growing on me with every listen: there are many sonic discoveries and surprises to be found.
Zhala is out now on Konichiwa (iTunes, [Spotify}(https://open.spotify.com/album/5Hk1ptrloarIIzJ5psDIwv)).