“This is my joy album,” Gretta Ziller says of her ascendent new release All These Walls.
Gretta Ziller has today (August 25) released her fourth studio album, a tender and heartfelt country classic titled All These Walls.
While it’s a fitting descriptor, country is just one path taken on the ten-track project, which flits between piano-led balladry and acoustic pop with finesse, as anchored by Ziller’s unmatched vocals.
The project opens with the nostalgic guitar strings of Cross My Fingers, a candid reflection on hope in the face of hardship.
With a quiet, country-flecked performance, Ziller sings of restless nights spent “fighting my mind,” as punctuated by punchy percussion that later gives the track a groovier rhythm.
For all its emotional reflections, Cross My Fingers ends on an optimistic note, taking its titular action as a message of hope for better times.
The tender reflections on life and love continue on Dear Damascus, a maudlin-driven love letter that feels ripped from the pages of Ziller’s own diary.
There’s a subtleness to the vocal range of Ziller, who chooses to forgo showy, powerhouse delivery in favour of more honest harmonies.
The effect on Dear Damascus is one of pure wistfulness, with backing melodies affording the track the quality of a daydream. Here, Ziller reminisces on a bygone love through evocative images like the smell of cologne or “jasmine fragrant memories.”
Treading the poppier corners of her sound, Ain’t Even Your Lover has echoes of of Adele’s Send My Love (To Your New Lover), complete with catchy horn sections, doo-wop ad libs and finger-click percussion.
The bold, brass-coated tune belies the track’s otherwise-incisive lyrics about shedding toxic former flames en route to self-empowerment.
Piano keys define All These Walls’ most blues-indebted ballad, the vividly told story of Whole. While love songs tend to err on the side of cliche, Ziller sketches a unique picture of romance as an exercise in making oneself whole, and vows to fill a lover’s missing pieces, bumps and all.
With a contagious vocal twang, Ziller sings of disparate images like empty wine bottles and a lover’s t-shirt, as if she is recalling memories in real time.
On the album standout and title track, Ziller veers into rock territory with darker vocals and harsher guitars, as if echoing her quest for deeper self-reflection and desire to break down her emotional walls.
It’s a message later echoed on Here I Am, which — with its sparse production and belting vocal range — reads like a vulnerable declaration of Ziller’s arrival.
Elsewhere, on Golden Days, Ziller leans into life’s mellow beauties with mesmeric, almost-hushed vocals, while Bones sees the singer triumph over obstacles with an ascendent chorus.
Ziller closes the proceedings with Who Knows, the quiet yet transcendent final entry in the diary that is All These Walls. “[This] is my joy album,” Ziller said in a press statement.
“I feel like I am finally back to the place I was when I first started playing music just for the love of it.”And with a tracklist like this, you’ll undoubtedly love it too.
Listen to Gretta Ziller’s new album All These Walls below.