TRACK REVIEW: Zoey Lily - Last Goodbye

TRACK REVIEW:

 

Zoey Lily

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Last Goodbye

 

9.2/10

 

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Last Goodbye is available via:

https://soundcloud.com/zoeylily/zoey-lily-last-goodbye

GENRE:

Pop

ORIGIN:

London, U.K.

RELEASE DATE:

13th April, 2018

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I have made some decelerations...

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with regards my blog and what I am including in the coming months. From a review perspective; I am only going to feature those artists I have not included before – that could be a bad move but it is hard to review the same act and say something different each time I do so (given the length and nature of my reviews). It is exciting featuring Zoey Lily because she is fresh to my reviewing ears – I have interviewed her once – and there is a bit to talk about. I will discuss, for the last time in a bit, images and how vital they are; putting songs together and artists that take care of each stage of the production process; unsigned acts and negotiations with labels; how to stand out in a crowded Pop market; how Popstars are different to previous years in terms of themes and vocal sounds; why Zoey Lily, and her upbringing, puts her in a good position (compared to her peers). I will start out with the social media package: something I have written about a lot but still comes back to my mind. It is important that every new artist, to get maximum traffic and folks flocking their way, looks at a concentrated and clear outlay. Zoey Lily has done well in the sense she has an official website and covers herself across social media and music-sharing websites. The ideal situation is having an official site where all your links are included on the homepage – you can click on each and easily navigate there. Facebook, Twitter and all your other sites would be regularly updated and you’d ensure there are some current images for people to see. I mention this because Zoey Lily is a lot further ahead than most. Her official website is great and she ensures one can see her on every major platform. It is images, again, that is the slight wrinkle. I will drop the argument for a little bit but think it is important that people get to see an artist and there are clear photos. I have managed to find quite a few on Zoey Lily’s pages – they range from older ones to the shots made for her latest single.

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A lot of artists, especially under a label, get photos taken for each song. They will have a set of photos for each work and then move onto the next one. Zoey Lily has managed to take a much bigger step than a lot of acts out there. She is organised and keeps her fans abreast; she wants to take care of all her channels and get her music out to the people. The only (minor) suggestion would be to spend a day in London and get a photographer taking, say, ten or so new shots – a great investment that would attract new eyes and get journalists in. Right now, and the reasons I want to review her, is a particular sound that comes to the mind; pleases the senses and invigorates the mind. I will move onto that but, before I do; let us consider those artists who realise the importance of social media and reaching out to their fans. It can be challenging keeping on top of everything and finding the time to update your social media. The days are long and it is hard getting it all sorted and visible. A lot of artists are too busy with music or they struggle to balance work and life. Zoey Lily has a hectic time of things but she is keen to touch her fans and make sure they are kept in the loop. Her sites are easy on the eye and one can navigate around and find out what they need to know. That may sound like a minor consideration but there are few who actually manage to do this. I can understand why it is hard to achieve this but, for those who do, I am impressed. Zoey Lily’s music is evolving and changing; she is getting bolder as an artist and aiming high. If she were to keep her pages the same and take her foot off the gas, then that would compromise her fanbase and popularity. She has a loyal crew out there keen to support the music and, as such, Zoey Lily puts the effort in and does her very best.

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I will move on to her song, Last Goodbye, soon but, right now, I wanted to look at those musicians who foster their song from conception and see it through to the very end. Even if that title sounds familiar – it is not a Jeff Buckley or The Kills cover – it is a very different beast and one that is distinctly the work of Zoey Lily. She is an artist who writes a song and makes sure it as good as it can be when it gets to the studio. From there; she will look after the production and handles every process and movement. It is not an ego thing or a way of shutting others out: she is a person who knows how her song needs to sound and has the talent to take care of it all. That multi-discipline approach is something more and more artists are learning these days. Whether this is because many artists are going to music schools or teaching themselves, I am not too sure. We are in an age where technology allows one to make music and produce it without anyone else’s assistance. People can see a song from its start to end and learn a lot of new skills along the way. I feel we are producing more educated and ambitious songwriters. Zoey Lily, as I will explain, grew up around music and she has involved herself in production and recording. Rather than write a song and then throw it over to producers to mould and mangle; there is that determination to produce a singular sound. I am not being down on producers but feel, when you listen to some songs, the producer will put their stamp on it and it does not sound as you’d hope. Having more than one cook in the kitchen can be a fruitful and inspiring thing. I always find those who can produce and engineer a song should go for it. There are a lot of great producers out there who are willing to listen to artists – I always like musicians who can self-produce and take charge of the process.

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I want to talk a bit more about this. Music is getting more competitive and, the longer we go on, the more people will come in and the market will be crowded. The same way we need to encourage artists to look at social media and put the package together; production is a skill we should be imparting. It does not mean you have to go to school or spend a lot of money learning from the best. There are tutorials and software available that can provide lessons and it is possible to get a grip of the basics. From there, once you have acquired the foundations; a musician can join with a producer and they can collaborate to create something that sounds great. It is interesting comparing artists who use other producers and those who work alone. A lot of the biggest Pop artists out there – Beyoncé and Rihanna, for instance – use several producers and it can be a way of bringing new life to their music. Different minds will have their own opinions and skills – that can be beneficial if you want to create a varied album. I will not labour the point too much but I am impressed Zoey Lily has made her mark already and has the skills to create a song and make sure it sounds how she wants it to. What I would like to see, when she gets to an album or E.P., is continue that singular vision as it will send out a message to new artists who feel they are unable to produce or do anything as good. Of course, with Zoey Lily, she has been involved with music since childhood so it is only natural she’d have those talents encoded and tattooed in her mind. One can hear that spirit, knowledge and authority when you hear her song, Last Goodbye. It is a personal and stunning song from an artist who continues to grow and impress.

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I wanted to address unsigned artists and those who go it alone. It might sound like Zoey Lily is a solitary charterer who only wants to work on her own stuff – not allowing anyone else in. Rather than farm out duties to countless people and have to negotiate with various bodies; she is free to make music how she wants and not have to compromise. There is a different ethical consideration when you consider labels. Being unsigned has some drawbacks and problems. It can be hard raising money and promotional clout to get songs out into the ether and reach big stations/sources. A label can guide you through the process and they have the expertise to put music in the right hands and provide all the guidance you need. If you are with a label with a big stable; they will be able to put the music in the vision of radio stations, journalists and T.V. producers. It will be easier to get that attention and appreciation. One can list all the good things about having a deal and signing up with someone. Many find, however, there are more benefits being alone. Whilst you do not have the capital flow and the business minds able to guide the artist; there is not the constant promotion and pushing that means the music gets out there and is heard. The benefits of being unsigned are an artist can take control and do what they need to with their songs. They do not have to compromise when it comes to fees and have to split royalties; they can produce and write anything they want – a label can often direct an artist’s sound and career direction – and release material when they see fit. It may mean less money comes their way – the artist needs to work harder to get revenue - but there is more creative freedom and mobility.

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I feel Zoey Lily will get a lot of label attention and people will flock her way. I can see some rather prominent labels throwing offers her way and, when that day comes, I hope she makes the right decision. It is hard knowing who to trust and whether you should take a deal. The way she is producing and releasing music is working right now. As her stock rises and the demand come in; she might not be able to field every aspect of work and have the time to perform. It is down to her but, regarding the next year or so; E.P.s and albums will come to her mind. Zoey Lily will want to tour internationally and she’ll be in a position to extend her scope around the U.K. At this very moment, the songwriter is producing some incredible music and doing things how she needs to. I wonder whether Zoey Lily will look at a P.R. label to help with the promotional side of things and pushing her music out to blogs. I know a lot of artists who do not have a label but have a promotional agency that can assist with putting the music into the ether and providing opportunities. It is an interesting ethical and financial decision when you think of a label and what it can do. There is no doubt the young artist will continue to grow and more demand will come her way. There will be those radio appearances and gigs requests from around the world. I wonder whether she will be able to juggle all the responsibilities of recording and releasing music with touring. If I were her; I would remain unsigned for now but, with new releases, keep my mind open and study those labels that would be good for her. She need not sign but, if she has a name in mind, she can share her music with them and that would open up negotiations.

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Pop music has changed the past few years and is taking more prominence. Artists are becoming bolder and more eclectic; there is a leaning towards more personal and deeper songs – not as beholden to commercial sounds and something empty. A lot of Pop artists are learning instruments and concentrating on musicianship. There has been a gradual rise in the quality – even if there are some rather ropey artists around – and female artists like Billie Eilish and Sigrid represent the new breed. They may not play themselves but the writing and performances are a lot more mature and nuanced than you’d expect. When I was growing up; so much of what was being put out was catchy and inane. There were hooks coming out of all corners but I never really felt the messages being sung were that evocative or original. Maybe that is a way for music to remain and inspire: providing something with a catchy chorus and easy to remember. We still do have that sort of Pop but more and more new artists are turning the pen to their diaries and writing about their personal experiences. This can lead to some rather emotional releases that make you think (rather than dance). I have seen Pop change and the face of modern music has shifted. Some might argue there are fewer long-lasting artists and songs are not as strong as they were. Others contest young artists are working more independently and not reliant on swathes of producers; they are more concerned with meaningful songs and less bothered about parroting what labels want them to sing about. Zoey Lily is one of those people who fits alongside your Sigrid-type artists and has that sort of sound. There is youthfulness and vibrancy but, listen closely, and the subject matter has older bones and a ready brain. The words are more striking and mature than you would expect from someone so young. What impresses me is Zoey Lily manages to link with that of-the-moment Pop sound but not repeat other artists and mirror their music.

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Listen to the vocal of Zoey Lily and there is that similar and popular sound. The notes are deeper and dark at time; there is a slight American affectation and the performance is solid and varied. You get a lot of colour and passion coming through; that mixes with tender moments and the resultant brew is a rather mesmeric and interesting experience. I wonder where she will head from here and whether her sound will alter that much. Zoey Lily has created something great that is speaking to her fans and recruiting new followers in. I can hear how she has grown on Last Goodbye and how confident the music is. You would not imagine this is an artist who has only been recording sounds for a short time. The Hackney-based, French-raised artist has been involved with music since she was a child. At the age of thirteen, she began playing the piano and got the songwriting bug. By seventeen, she was drawn to her dad’s acoustic guitar and picked up another talent. She was split between the rush of London and the rural pleasures of Les Mayons (France). This mixed and diverse upbringing goes into her music and touring. Her dad is a live music agent and her mum is a fashion designer. You can tell all of that D.N.A. is in her blood and it is no wonder Zoey Lily decided to get into music. She has a great contact/help in her dad and it is obvious his musical experience has made a big impact. I wonder what music she grew up around and whether she’s more inspired by modern Pop artists. One can hear a mix of older Folk and Pop with Electronic artists from this day. It is an intriguing concoction that seems familiar and accessible but is definitely from the unique mind of Zoey Lily. I am interested seeing where she goes from here and what the young songwriter can come up with.

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There is softness and haunting opening that highlights the voice and the power it holds. The production is quite basic as to allow the natural tones to shine and resonate. Piano is there from the start and the notes are tender and pure. Before the vocal started; we hear Zoey Lily sort of sit down as it were and get the recording started (saying “Okay?” as if to signal the off). The performance has a sense of passion and intensity that does not lead to a suffocating and hard-to-love song. The way she delivers the words means every syllable strikes and there is so much emotion put in. Even though the song is, as the start, a little affected and harrowed; you are compelled to dive in and walk alongside the heroine. She is not going to beg the man to stay and compromise at all. It seems things have taken a turn for the worse and the breakup has left its mark. The composition relies on that piano and the way it cuts through the song. There are suggestions of beats and percussion but the piano is king and in the foreground. Our heroine is investigating the way she has acted post-breakup and how she has handled things. You get a sense of self-destruction and someone who is spiralling away. She implores the sweetheart not to hold on to her heart and step away. Maybe it has been a hard realisation and things have been a bit too severe. I am in the position where I see a young woman who has been involved deeply and was not prepared for what has happened. The guy, it seems, walked away and I am not sure whether he is the culpable party. One can hear Zoey Lily’s command and personality come through. Although, technically, Last Goodbye is ‘co-produced’ by Zoey Lily; she takes care of most of the duties and the song is as much her voice as anyone else’s – the lion’s share of the production and engineering is her.

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The song continues to grip and keep you in with its emotional outpouring and confessions. There is that sense of weight and being tied by the stone of heartache. You get a sense of optimism and energy, oddly, as the song goes on. Piano steps back and the beats and electronics take more of a role. The opening is graceful and has that tender and controlled head. Our heroine was in the shadows and talking in quieter tones. The track then moves into new territory and the beats get sterner and more heated. The percussive notes scuttle and vibrate; the electronics echo and work in the back to create a mood that is quite hurt and scarred. What one notices is an opening and signs of hope. The song gets hotter and more energised – never too much… - and the heroine is looking to better things. You get signs things are on the up and she needs space at the very least. Vocally, things start to lift and I can hear a slight lessening of the pressure. Our heroine hums and there is a strange sensuality in the delivery. Zoey Lily has one of those voices that will remind you of certain Pop artists but never too strongly. That balance of familiarly and unique edge gives the song its stripes and compels you to reinvestigate. The story continues and it seems there is no way back for the duo. They have done all they can and things have ended. I am not sure whether both have blame or whether it is more one-sided. What I do know is the heroine has been impacted by the break and she is looking for some time away to reflect. I noted how the song contains energy and upbeat in addition to the sadness and pain. Towards the end, you get a sense the breakup is for the best and things will work out for Zoey Lily. She is looking for safety and a happier climb. You can appreciate the fact she needs to vent and get everything out there but I know there will be an improvement and brighter days. In terms of the composition; it gets brighter and there is light coming through. Last Goodbye is a song that takes a few listens through before all the strands and ideas really sink into the mind. It is a wonderful and emotional offering from a performer who naturally fits into modern Pop and knows what the public needs. She has not compromised that knowledge and ensures the song is personal and very much from her own heart. I can see more material coming from the songwriter and a very busy future ahead of her. In a music scene where there are a lot of artists doing the same thing; Zoey Lily is distinguishing herself and keen to mix things up. It is a beautiful and memorable song from the talented young artist.

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Zoey Lily has a busy time ahead and will be keen to get Last Goodbye out to the people. I am not sure what she has planned regarding gigs but I am sure there are London dates coming. Keeping updated on her social media channels and the songwriter will update her fans. As summer draws closer; we will see Zoey Lily put herself out there more and that can result in more material. I am excited seeing what she can come up with and whether an E.P. is her next step. So far, she has made big steps and developed her sound. Each release sees new joys and elements come into the mix. You cannot deny she is among the more arresting and talented artists around. She takes care of her music and is someone who knows what each song should sound like. You get a personal and strong offering that stays in the mind and gets you moving. Last Goodbye has personal struggles but there is hope. Rather than write something too downbeat or hard; one experiences a blend of introspection and strength. The songwriter has produced something fresh and alive; it moves and strikes when you least expect it. It is a song perfectly suited for the warming weather and designed to get bigger crowds moving. I know there will be demands from festivals and the London-based artist will have a busy summer. Zoey Lily spends a lot of time on her music and the sheer energy she puts in is to be commended. The rewards will come and things will get even better for her. The Pop market is a packed and expansive one that is changing its face and producing some genuine stars. Zoey Lily is compelled by what’s happening out there and wants to add her own voice. She is doing that with aplomb and I am excited to see where she goes and what her next move is. Kudos to a spirited and stunning songwriter who is doing something new and turning heads at the moment. She is still young and there will be lessons along the way. Zoey Lily knows the challenges ahead of her and she will handle everything with grace and strength. Last Goodbye shows she is up for the hurdles and can tackle anything that comes her way. It is a striking song from a multi-talented artist…

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PEOPLE need to get behind.

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Follow Zoey Lily

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