Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Zella Day first gained notice in the front half of the 2010s blending modern pop with a touch of free-spirited bohemian flair. By her late teens, she had already self-released an album and secured a contract with Hollywood Records, whose B3SCI Records imprint issued her label debut, Kicker, in 2015. Over the coming years, Day played major festivals like Lollapalooza and Coachella and toured with a variety of acts from Michael Franti to Lana Del Ray. After a scattering of singles, she re-emerged in 2020 on Dan Auerbach's Easy Eye label with the EP Where Does the Devil Hide.
A native of Arizona, Day was raised in a small mountain town near Phoenix, where her parents ran a café and art space whose creative clientele helped to nurture her musical interests. Picking up the guitar at age nine, she was writing her first songs within a few years, influenced by the classic singer/songwriter records in her parents' collection and her rugged natural surroundings. While still in high school, she released her independent debut album, Powered by Love.
Eventually relocating to L.A., Day first came to notice when her 2012 acoustic cover of the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" began racking up the hits on YouTube. Soon she adopted a lusher, pop-oriented sound, which led some critics to refer to her as a happier-sounding Lana Del Rey. Her first single, "Sweet Ophelia"/"1965," appeared in April 2014, and in October of that year she released her self-titled debut EP on California indie B3SCI Records. In 2015, Day issued her full-length studio album Kicker, which featured production from Wally Gagel and Xandy Barry (aka Wax Ltd.). Tours with acts like Fitz and the Tantrums and Michael Franti followed over the next year, as did the non-album singles "Man on the Moon" and "Hunnie Pie."
By 2019, Day had parted with Hollywood Records and teamed up with Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach to record for his Easy Eye Sound imprint. Led by the lush single "People Are Strangers," her Auerbach-produced EP Where Does the Devil Hide arrived in 2020. ~ Timothy Monger