New Album: "From Texas, With Love" by Zayland
Motivational Muses Review | by Matthew Pineda
Released on: July 24, 2020
Cover Artwork by: Joaquín | Desfordesiree
Zayland’s debut album From Texas, With Love is a highly satisfying, collaborative audio cinematic modern love letter that follows a journey of love and self-discovery.
“Forgot Who I Was” is a soft, dark wave R&B introduction track produced by AE Beats grounds the listener in an atmosphere that captures the familiar and unique sound of the DFW-based artist. Zayland delivers a reflection on people who have turned his back on him through his come-up but disregards the negativity to focus on finding love with his time here on Earth. “I don’t want love when it’s over, I want that shit while I’m here.” An immediate longing for love, past reflections of false connections and intimacy establishes a new diverse Texas journey.
“St. Thomas” features Latinx indie-pop band Luna Luna. A light, bright summertime hybrid hip-hop, pop track production from Stefon Osae with hypnotizing acoustic guitar riffs and alternating filtered knocks and clashes. Zayland dissolves into a realm that explores his attempt in reaching intimacy with a love interest. “Meet me at the strip for tease, encore please / Amaze me with those hips from Eve, Adam’s pleased / Come in blushed so casually, I’ll turn your leaf / Excuse me love I know this not your first time, I’ve heard lies you know.” Zayland and Luna Luna integrating English and Spanish adds a more engaging narrative to the project, establishing the expression and duality of love and emotions that’s displayed beyond.
“Dior Sheets” explores attachment to materials and altered fantasies of intimacy. Zayland returns to a world where his love interest has become fixated with his wealth, possessions and his personal space. “She on Dior sheets inside my home / I just made a hit, don’t hit my phone / Baby asking, ‘where the numbers go?’ / 20 bands on her ass, she want it bad.” Producers Potillo and Sonic Major create a hard knocking, dark jeweled instrumental that sounds like a treasure straight out of the Cave of Wonders, complimenting the theme of material attachments.
Austin-based artists The Teeta and Mike Melinoe deliver alternating adlibs that compliment one another throughout the track. The Teeta delivers a memorable introduction with his verse, “Favor God only, I’m praying to Jesus I make me a milli… Bad bitches strictly, with me / Gotta turn up when I land in your city / Trynna make love in the back of the Bentley.” The Teeta highlights an open prayer for wealth to keep exploring these thrills of a luxurious night life, which Zayland is self-aware but continues a pursuit in intimate fantasies.
“Simone” serves as a spotlight for reflection and what he wants to say about his current and previous encounters with women over a period of time. Producer Zach Witness delivers an energetic, bouncy track with synthesized whistles that transitions to a piano ballad topped with a unique dead phone ring to an echoey, enhanced space with rocking bass. “She just wanna fuck, all the hoes that throw that ass around.” It serves as an engaging prelude to “Let’s Go” featuring Randy Class, which explores the conflict of chasing women and the night life but longing for love and sharing an intimate connection with his love interest.
“Not the Same,” features San Antonio-based collective FRITOGANG, explores breaking away from losses and failures and reflecting on the transition. Producer Big Tex Johnny utilizes minor voice samples throughout that pop between fun, celebratory, and reflective rhymes split between Zayland and FRITOGANG that ride over big bass drums and knocks.
“Floating,” featuring artists Spike Chester and Devy Stonez, explores Zayland's reflection on his previous actions and trying to find a new way. “I just had some money and a drink so now I’m searching / And I hear the Devil on me talking, he still lurking / Hoping every choice that I made was worth it, was it worth it?” Stefon Osae returns for production with Chase Goldman, chopping up a brass section sample with a piano ballad interlaced with trap drums and hi-hats throughout the track. Spike Chester and Devy Stonez chemistry deliver some of the most memorable feature verses on the project, adding a East and West Coast hip-hop hybrid that feels like a Texas hip-hop classic.
“500 Degrees” featuring Dee Gatti reflects on a new perspective and finding his own path after breaking away from false intimacy. The transition to “Her Interlude” featuring LaVoyce, serves as breaking conversation between Zayland and a previous love interest. Production from NoSalez returns to a slower, dark R&B atmosphere that contributes to the feelings and emotions both perspectives share. “Either you guilty or you bored, I thought we were moving forward / But I guess I’m onto better things / I’ll buy myself the diamond ring / Are you scared or are you stupid? All these terrible excuses / You did everything to get this, and everything to lose it.” LaVoyce expresses her thoughts and feelings towards their relationship, explaining both sides of their imperfections and experiences.
“Wax & Rose Freestyle” is a standalone track with Zayland that explains his final reflection, a new perspective of where he’s at on his new path. Production from PKBeatz places the listener on a beach listening to seagulls and faded waves in the background, chiming in with a marimba tone and medium drum knocks. “Don’t ask about me, what you wanna know?” The simplistic production showcases Zayland’s vocals then allows the listener to enjoy audio cinematic experience of the steady instrumental slowly fade out.
From Texas, With Love is my favorite project to come out of 2020. The amount of ambition, diversity, and inclusive collaborations on this album from music production to features, Zayland created one of the most engaging and unique listening experiences for music audiences. I love the whole project, but my personal favorite from the album were St. Thomas, Dior Sheets, Not the Same, and 500 Degrees.
The religious undertones in the indirect narrative of the project were interesting to follow throughout the track progression. I also loved the diverse number of features of artists and producers that collaborated from across Texas to show music audiences that Texas isn’t just ‘country’ music. It’s diverse, inclusive, and colorful with new stories to tell.
Zayland’s From Texas, With Love is available on all major music streaming platforms. Make sure to support all other featured artists from this album by following them on all social media to stay updated on everything they are creating.
Zayland is a hip-hop artist from Dallas, Texas.
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