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Zhala's introductory single 'Prophet', released in early 2014, cemented her intent: "I am the confuser now." Her hypnotic mantra snowballs into an ultra tempo of hardcore techno, while her debut television performance of the song at the Swedish Grammis Awards recreated Nirvana's now-iconic 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' video frame-by-frame. In an unlikely marriage; she bent the beautiful gloom of the original visuals to the pop sensibilities of her world. A perplexing moment and a daring move for any artist, let alone a newcomer, to take on an landmark rock video and reimagine it into a techno-frenzy with conviction on a world stage.

It's this audacity which leaves a lasting impression on her debut album. Written and produced solely with Mathias Oldén, they stroke a big brush of freedom, where the songs venture and captures her defiant approach. With an education in music and touring with live bands, Zhala comes in with a clear idea of how she wants to engage her listeners. However, it could be argued that the most significant influence on the fabric of her music is club culture. Around the age of 20, she immersed herself in Stockholm's nightlife where she quickly found an affinity with music and took to collaborating with DJs, improvising lyrics and melodies over their mixes. She moved to LA to study music, where she revelled in the City of Angels' dance movement - the way the typical warehouse setting became a stage for people to freely express themselves spoke to her in a big way. Returning to Sweden, she began writing her own songs to perform at clubs. Two years passed in which she toured in Lykke Li's live band and declined a record deal from a major company which she knew would not be the right fit. Her perseverance grabbed the attention of fellow Swede and pop titan, Robyn, who signed her as the first artist to Konichiwa Records label.

The texture of Zhala's debut is that of a rough diamond; sparkly and iridescent, but at the same time it'll catch you with its sharp edges. It appears obvious why a kinship developed between the two artists - the energy and lack of inhibition in Zhala's songwriting parallels the aesthetic of Robyn's 2005 career lane-changing album and the work she has achieved since. Her initial intention to disorientate carries through the album. It's unpredictable and concentrated electronic pop, which nods to disco, trance, industrial, synthpop and Bollywood. Throughout its eleven songs, she twists and turns in flashes of colourful ingenuity. 'Aerobic Lambada' channels the anxieties surrounding making the album as she wryly shouts "Dance for me! Who gives a shit?" - it is a moment when one is unsure to take humour in its unexpectedness or feel its sinister undertone. Her ethereal vocals on 'Slippin' Around', set against its ruminating synths, is majestic - while 'Efter Livet' disintegrates into throbbing synthesizers and multiplying vocoded vocals.

For her first record, Zhala has honed her ideas to a fine point with a free-spirited energy. Her power-pop is rich and intoxicating - flirting with an ominous tension. She recognizes the hedonism pop music and culture can arouse and makes no compromises in how she presents herself or sound. Zhala is a skilful debut from a musician finally exhaling after holding her breath for years.

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