BY LAINA SUAREZ
Daphne’s Demise, the solo project of Zoë Layla, released her first full-length album, What a Gift Just To Exist. Since teaching herself how to make music back in high school, Zoë has grown to craft her own unique sound, often described as a mix of ambient pop and indie-folk.
Each of the seven tracks on her newest album, released on October 30, flow together to create a unique experience of what I would personally describe as euphoric folk. Zoë has experimented with many different sounds, pulling inspiration from different genres. In this album in particular, she experiments with the use of an Appalachian dulcimer and a synthesizer, among other instruments — which offers an especially unique sound throughout the album and creates the serene ambience that is What a Gift Just To Exist.
The first track off the album, “The Die is Cast,” released as a single earlier this year, is a soothing introduction to start off the album. The entrancing tune is accompanied by Zoë’s dreamy vocals, with lyrics that create a slightly melancholic feel. Transitioning to the second track, “Egg Parachute,” is a purely instrumental track that in a way breaks away from the ambient pop sound of the first track. While lacking lyrical elements, I really enjoyed the piano melody throughout this song which forces you to sit back and take in your surroundings, fully immersing yourself in the sound; the perfect tune to daydream to.
“Meet Your Eyes,” a slightly more upbeat track compared to the others on the album, is probably one of my favorites. With wistful lyrics like “the sky above is blue and pink / the beauty of this world / would be nothing without you” that reflect on a deep connection between two people, combining with the dreamy melody, the song provokes a feeling of bliss.
The overall whimsical feel of each track makes for peaceful listening. With seemingly simplistic lyrics throughout the album, focus is cast on the underlying instrumentals of each song, which I think is what makes this album so enchanting. What a Gift Just to Exist feels like a breath of fresh air on a warm spring day, offering an escape from the cold dreary days that lurk as we head into the winter.
In celebrating the release of the album, Don’t Guitar Records, a small label based out of Sweden is collaborating with Daphne’s Demise to give away limited edition cassettes of What a Gift Just to Exist. If you want to get your hands on one of these check out @dontguitarrecords on Instagram for more updates and information. But for now, stream What a Gift Just To Exist and check out some of the other great work from Daphne’s Demise!
LIMITED EDITION CASSETTES FROM DON’T GUITAR RECORDS