LCM Recommended: Zialand - 'Unbridled & Ablaze'
Following her recent singles ‘Landslide’ and ‘Shelter’, the latter of which was played on BBC Scotland, BBC Ulster, Soho Radio, Resonance and Juice FM (Brighton), the Norwegian artist ZIALAND (aka Zia Meyer) will release her new album, ‘Unbridled & Ablaze’ on 8th June.
A new single entitled ‘Running Cold’ is also scheduled for the early summer. Zialand describes 'Running Cold' as “a song about a friend of mine and the deeply painful relationship she experienced with her alcoholic dad. Her pain was a complicated tapestry woven over time, blended together by watching him distance himself from the people closest to him and her profound love for him and the need for a dad. But her needs were never met because he always chose the bottle. She was the one who found him, barely conscious as he was slipping into a coma. Blood on the floor, on the walls and in the bed. She was the one who cleaned it all up, stayed by his hospital bed and was there as he fought the inevitable. His death wasn’t pretty. "I wanted to honour her and pour some love onto all that pain by writing her this song, bringing a kind of witnessing and a reckoning to it.”
Other highlights on the album include ‘Fever’ (“about living in exile, the vulnerability & precariousness of life in that existence, not knowing what comes next”), the aching ballad ‘Don't Look Down’ (“about a good man losing his partner to illness and his way of loving her is by showing up and being there in all the ways he can”), the powerful ’Shelter’ ("a love letter to my daughter”) and the intense torch song ‘Cleaved’ (“longing for your soulmate, the one you know is out there but not the ‘where’ or ‘how’ or ‘when’ you will meet”).
Zialand thinks of the album as being about "‘in-between' moments, when something is ending and something new beginning. That moment where you finally give way to the transmutation. For anything to move and transcend, something else needs to die or be let go of. To me, these moments are imbued with both the deepest of grief as well as a most delicate beatitude and rapture. I think I’ve always been on the hunt for these moments because they are so elusive."
ZIALAND is a Norwegian musician, singer-songwriter and producer. Her music is intimate and emotionally charged with a variety of influences such as Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel and Billie Holiday. Making her way to LA in her early 20’s to pursue her passion for music, she sang and collaborated with jazz composer/musicians Marcus Miller, Chris Botti and John Beasley, plus bassist Kristian Dunn (of El Ten Eleven). Songs from her debut album gained airplay on key local station KCRW and were placed in indie movies as well as TV shows like ‘Felicity'.
However, her burgeoning career as a singer-songwriter stalled in 2002 when she had to leave LA abruptly with her young child due to an abusive relationship, travelling halfway around the world before finally ending up in Australia. But, leaving the hotbed of LA and slipping into the shadows also provided unforeseen opportunities, such as spending more time in various studios, writing and composing as well as learning how to mix. Music became her anchor, “the only thing I could hold on to at times,” Zialand reflects.
Finally able to return to Norway a decade later, Zialand released her second album, ‘The Light Below’ in 2014. The majority of it was recorded in Australia while still living in hiding, with the Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen and guitarist Erlend Saeverud helping to give the highly personal jazz tinged record an atmospheric, filmic backdrop. Meeting the British producer/musician John Fryer (Nine Inch Nails, This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode) resulted in her co-writing two songs for his recent Black Needle Noise project. She also worked with LA producer David Sardy (LCD Soundsystem, Oasis) singing on the score of the movie ‘Bright’ (starring Will Smith and Noomi Rapace), which was released in late 2017.
“With all these difficult years behind me, it is nice to finally have the freedom to create and share my music again,” says Zialand.