Yesterday when I stepped out of Breaking More Waves HQ for my government approved 30 minutes of exercise (the one time that in the UK we’re currently permitted to venture outside of our houses - except for essential food shopping and work) I didn’t see one single human being.
This might not seem that unusual if you live in the countryside, but living in a small but crowded city as I do (population of around 240,000 and the most densely populated in the UK) this is incredibly unusual. Ok, so it was incredibly late on a Sunday night, but to see no fellow human being after running several kilometers is unprecedented. It felt like I’d turned a wrong corner and entered the scene of a nightmarish post-apocalyptic movie. I half expected to see an overturned bus blocking the road or to be chased by a horde of flesh eating zombies.
To get back to normality, afterwards I blasted out some pop music. Big banging pop music. Because although in normal times pop can be and should be about fantasies, our pop stars acting as the dream-makers, right now pop music can serve a very necessary job of keeping things on the level – keeping us grounded so that we realise that isn’t the movies and is just real life. Pop exists and continues to do so. It's part of our core and our fabric of being alive. Pop is my constant. Have you heard Dua Lipa’s new album – there’s an example of how mainstream pop is still very much a thing.
One of the songs I played a little too loud a little too late (sorry neighbours) was the new single by Zyra. Remember her? No? OK, a quick recap.
Zyra is one Alex Cheatle. She first appeared in an introducing piece on this blog in 2013 under her own name. Then having adopted the alias Zyra in 2014 she wrote and sang on Odesza’s Say My Name which became a big internet and crowd pleasing hit, particularly in the U.S. It ended up being nominated for a Grammy. I subsequently named Zyra as One To Watch for 2016 in my annual end of year tip list, but then it all went quiet.
However just like waiting for a bus, now in quick succession we‘ve had 3 new tunes from her (as well as a bunch of demos and remixes on Soundcloud - check out F*ck You in particular). Talking of buses it appears that Zyra is not only driving the this one but she’s running her own bus company as well.
It’s the third of these three songs released to the big streaming services, Take Me Home, that is my favourite. Released last week it’s a big hooky mid-tempo banger that makes the thought of Zombies on the street very distant; and thankfully with Zyra at the wheel that aforementioned overturned bus is nowhere to be seen.
Zyra - Take Me Home