NME and Time Out journalist Nick Levine on Iyla's California.
Honestly, it’s rare for an emerging artist to execute at such a high level as Los Angeles newcomer Iyla does.
If you watch her recently released video for California, probably the standout track from last year’s superb debut EP War + Raindrops, you’ll totally get the hype.
Shot in the wide-open spaces of her home state, it’s a properly stunning clip with a hint of Madonna’s Frozen to it, but the visuals never threaten to overwhelm the music.
“The day he ran and left me for another, the skies turned grey in sunny California,” she sings on the chorus in her big, pure and soulful voice.
Raised in a musical family in LA, Iyla has said she grew up listening to great singers like Aretha Franklin and George Michael, and you can definitely tell that she sets the bar high.
This song manages to sound super contemporary and effortlessly classic at the same time, which is obviously a tricky balance to pull off, especially this early on in an artist’s career. But Iyla is serving up brilliant vocals, visuals and melody already, and I can’t wait to see and hear more from her in the future.