Track by Track is a recurring feature series in which artists share the story behind every song on their latest release. Today, Zella Day breaks down her new album, Sunday In Heaven.
In the seven years since Zella Day released her debut project, Kicker, the singer-songwriter has kept busy. She’s collaborated with the likes of Lana Del Rey and Weyes Blood, and recorded an EP in 2020 with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. Now, at 27 years old, Day is ready to cement her status as one of the most powerful voices in the genre; her sophomore record Sunday In Heaven, out Friday, October 14th, is a cathartic and powerful proclamation that she’s up for the task.
On Sunday In Heaven, Day evokes a spirit of freedom and liberation through her songwriting and impassioned vocal range, supported by genre-bending production from Cage The Elephant producer Jay Joyce, John Velasquez, and Alex Casnoff. Sunday In Heaven is a personal tale; one where snapshot moments of Day’s life can be felt, the attention to detail in her lyrics forming vivid imagery. No lyric is wasted, and each verse is treated like a brushstroke, painting memories for listeners.
One of the most introspective tracks on the project is “Radio Silence,” an absolute masterclass in storytelling that also serves as a pro-reproductive rights effort. Day explains to Consequence that she suffered an ectopic pregnancy, something that she “didn’t talk about for a long time” until the wrote the song. “There was a lot of anger and hurt that needed to be worked through,”she adds. “Writing about it helped me let go of deep emotional stress I was holding in my body. It’s a small piece of a bigger story that so many women go through.”
Meanwhile, like many artists, the pandemic impacted Day’s approach, and she remembers the world feeling “helpless” amid the start of uncertainty. But rather than let this bleak period get to her, she created “Golden,” an uplifting track that exudes a ripe sense of hope: “I wanted to write a song about finding joy in the face of despair and not feeling guilted by happiness. Life is a trip, eat some cake and dance around the living room.”
Elsewhere on the album, there’s the Roy Orbison-inspired “Am I Still Your Baby?,” a palpable sensibility of existence on “Real Life,” and the somber yet angelic concluding title track. Sunday In Heaven is an audio time capsule — a personal effort done on Day’s own terms, and a statement that speaks for herself as well as others.
Listen to Zella Day’s Sunday In Heaven and read her breakdown of the album below.