ZELA, as sister-brother duo from the North East, have been on our radar for a while now and their irony-infused new track has us all abuzz, making it our heavyweight track of the week.
They have created a dark and imaginative brand of hard-hitting alt-pop and it’s typified beautifully in their latest release.
ZELA’s irony-soaked new single “gaslighting isn’t real, you’re just mental” was inspired by a tumultuous Winter period in which front-woman Liv Griff found herself being constantly gaslit during a toxic situationship. Burning in at just 2 minutes 28 seconds – RELEASED THIS FRIDAY 10TH NOVEMBER – this bratty, self-assured piece of alt-pop was Liv’s way of dealing with the aftermath of being made to feel like she was crazy; despite being right all along. Using her staple ZELA-style sarcasm and wit, Liv’s vocal playfully spits verses not dissimilar to the likes of RHCP’s Anthony Kiedis, before launching into the chorus where we hear the anthemic title hook of the track; the ironically stated “gaslighting isn’t real, you’re just mental”.
“I feel like I NEEDED to write this song, as though it already existed in my brain and I just needed that final wrong move to push me over the edge; and I’m so glad he made that move. Lyrically, it was written in under an hour over a synth bass loop that Max had written on our MacBook. A huge amount of tension that had built up inside me was lifted and I could finally see the situation for what it was. I also think that’s what makes performing it live so powerful; the energy is so raw that it feels both electric and cathartic” – Liv Griff on the writing process for “Gaslighting..”
Since bursting onto the scene in 2020, ZELA have delivered a string of singles, each exploring complex topics and their own brand of dark, imaginative Brat-Pop. The brother/sister duo have received numerous plays on BBC Radio 1, alongside features on Future Artists with Jack Saunders and Future Alternative with Nels Hylton. In addition to this, ZELA have gained massive support from BBC Introducing, numerous official Apple Music & Spotify playlistings (including New Music Friday, Misfits 2.0, Unleashed and New Pop UK), and have begun to amass a loyal, dedicated following.
Over the last year, ZELA have begun to make bold moves within the live music scene, quickly establishing themselves as an act not to be missed on a line-up. Dubbed by Radio One’s Jack Saunders as “Nine Inch Nails-meets-Ariana Grande”, their live performance is a supercharged, high-energy experience encapsulating Liv Griff’s magnetic, on-stage persona and Max Griff’s frenzied ability on the drum kit, alongside the addition of two other live members. Just back from numerous festival appearances and live shows in Canada, and having recently shared line-ups with The Libertines, Bastille, DMAs, Larkins, Bob Vylan, Pale Waves, Self Esteem, Blossoms and Holly Humberstone, ZELA have exciting plans for the rest of the year on the live circuit.
ZELA have also received recent viral success on TikTok, with Liv’s bratty rewrites and tongue-in-cheek takes on other artists becoming increasingly popular. The most talked-about is her latest sketch on The 1975’s Matty Healy – the comically-coined ‘Bratty Healy’ which has landed 2m views and is still climbing. TikTok Stats: Followers – 28k. Likes – 800k.
“Gaslighting isn’t real, you’re just mental” is out THIS FRIDAY 10TH NOVEMBER via all good digital stockists.
CATCH THEM THEM LIVE…
Saturday 25th November – The Grove, Newcastle (Headline show)
Tuesday 12th December – The Sebright Arms, London (Headline show)