Zsela (ZHAY-la) knows that artistic arrivals take time. The ambitious artist emerges with Big For You — a debut album that is raw, vulnerable, and a force to be reckoned with. Produced alongside close collaborators Daniel Aged (Frank Ocean, Kelela) and Gabe Wax (The War On Drugs, Soccer Mommy), Zsela’s first full-length album flows between grandiosity and intimacy to build a sonic landscape overflowing with introspection. 

With the release of Ache of Victory in 2020 — a five-track EP that The New York Times praised as "emotive yet elusive, slow but infused with undulating motion, at once earthy and otherworldly” — Zsela established herself as a singer-songwriter of cavernous depth. Big For You is a quantum leap 

for an artist who has taken giant strides as a performer in the years since her inaugural release, having graced stages like Carnegie Hall and MoMA PS1 in New York and the Natural History Museums in New York and Los Angeles. 

Reflecting on the making of the album’s ten songs, Zsela explains that the initial sketches went through countless versions before evolving to their final forms. “It was important for me to stay open in this process, finding the truth of what the songs want to be,” says Zsela. “That meant breaking them down and building them back up again and again, not being precious and trying to listen.” By stripping back to the truth of these songs, Zsela arrived at sonic settings that are striking in their contrast, using negative space to conjure a grander sense of scale. This negative space also casts a spotlight on Zsela's voice — a confident presence that anchors the lyrical weight of her compositions. 

Dripping with rich textural treatments and amorphous, heart-on-the-sleeve arrangements, the dynamics and diversity that define Big For You prove Zsela is painting with a wider palette than ever before. In the artist’s words, the guiding undercurrent across this cycle of songs is heartbreak. Meditating on the album’s title, Zsela notes, “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.” 

In addition to Big For You’s core production trio, the album features cameos from several members of Zsela’s extended family of collaborators, from Marc Ribot, Nick Hakim, and Casey MQ to Jasper Marsalis (Slauson Malone 1) and more. The duality of endless studio experimentation and weighty 

subject matter runs thick throughout the album, where playful production stands in stark contrast with lyrical heartache. 

As a full length opening statement, Big For You emphasizes the expansive tension and release of a journey rather than its destination, one that the artist herself has compared to “trying to welcome uncertainty like a warm embrace.” It is the work of a sonic storyteller who has settled into a groove of her own, unafraid to ask unanswered questions. 

Zsela's debut album, Big For You, is out June 14th, 2024 on Mexican Summer.

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