Zsela Guides CLASH Through ‘Big For You’

Her glorious debut album...

Everything Zsela touches has an exacting sense of presence. The songwriter only releases work she is explicitly happy with, pouring over every single tiny detail in the process. Sharing her debut EP in 2020, the road to her first album has been long, but it’s also soaked in experience.

Out now, ‘Big For You’ offers immaculate R&B, interwoven with riveting electronics, all guided by her world-building finesse. Opulent sonics draped in emotion, Zsela’s work has a cinematic quality – with her life as the central narrative.

Building her own community, the record features some striking cameos, notably Marc Ribot, Nick Hakim, Casey MQ and Jasper Marsalis (Slauson Malone 1). 

Out now, Zsela comments:  “At the heart, it touches on the causal versus intentional dance we play between being ‘full of you’ and ‘full for you’ — the complexity and magnitude of the space we take and fill up for love.”

To coincide with the release, Zsela constructed this special track-by-track guide for CLASH readers.

Lily of the Nile 

Lily begins the journey. It’s a fever dream runaway love story starring a stolen bride. It also reveals the title of the album—

“So I hold on 

Big for you 

Sticky like taffy

Inchin in like a warm slip in the wind 

You know how the universe is…”

Fire Excape 

This song lives in the space between the joy and fear of letting go and the unexpected turns that come with falling (in love). Trust fall energy— am I falling into your arms or flat on the ground?

“Im falling down 

Might you be around?

I’m falling down 

Might you hear the sound?”

Not Your Angel 

The second time I met Casey MQ we wrote this song. We were like two kids on a scavenger hunt, jumping up and down when we found something we liked. At its core Not Your Angel is a love letter about a deep desire to be met for all the you’s that fit in you. A desire to challenge the inherent fear of feeling like someone is slipping away just because they are changing. 

Still Swing

I’m glad we didn’t give up on this one even though it may have been the trickiest. It went through several versions and still wasn’t feeling right until we stripped it down one last time.  It was challenging but I’m glad it made final cut. And… who are we if happiness is easy?

Watersprite 

I like the idea that this song gets you to apologise (seven times) if you sing it with me. It’s not always easy to apologise… Maybe you could start by sending someone this song? 

‘You took the fight 

Out of the punch 

I wouldn’t want 

I apologize”

Brand New 

‘Brand New’ plays with the duality of heartbreak. Shout out to the complicated raging heart and the frustration of still being in love.

“You’re such a funny character 

I don’t wanna be mean 

But I cant stand the way you speak

I’ll get up early 

Waste some time in the bed 

Just to hear you breathe”

Now Here You Go 

An honor to have Trisha Constantine and Loren Kramer in the studio for this lil ditty. I called Loren and said please sing on this song, he said I’m in the bath but pick me up in 10 minutes. We had a ball and thou art that!

Easy St.

Two words – Marc Ribot. We always dreamt of him being on this track so when it actually happened three years later it felt surreal. ‘Easy St’ is a sonic shift for the album allowing for some space to hopefully just get lost in. 

Moth Dance

‘Moth Dance’ has always represented the “home” of the project for me. This was the first song I wrote for the album. Every song written after felt like this departure further and further from that home but seeing how all still connects has been the beauty of the challenge. Also I loved playing guitar with my teeth, catch my solo at the end… 

Play

I’ve always known this would be the last song on the album since the first day we wrote it. Lyrically it feels like a manifesto for the album—the journey for clarity revealing more questions. Also this —

“We’re not winning, if there is no play”

‘Big For You’ is out now.

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