Dublin-raised, London-based singer Orla Gartland has delivered a fresh and driving single in “Zombie!” The song is her second release of the year, following “More Like You,” and the third single ahead of her currently untitled debut album, which is due later this year.
“Zombie!” is gripping right out of the gate, with a peppy clap beat backing the chant “When all of your body’s burning up / When all of your body’s burning up / You live like a zombie, turn it off.” While the song has all of the energizing, mood-boosting qualities of a musical cup of coffee, the lyrics find Gartland airing out her frustrations with the side effects of toxic masculinity. The track’s overwhelming sense of fun begs the subject to shake out the oppressive tendency to bury his emotions, created by society’s view of how a man should and shouldn’t act.
Gartland elaborated on the song’s lyrics in a statement:
“Zombie!” is about repressing emotions until one day they burst out of you all at once. Specifically it’s about a very common, very male kind of repression I witnessed in a boy I loved once—I could see that he felt things but there was a barrier stopping him from expressing them. I hated that for him, it made me so angry at the societal pressures that led him to that place. For me living “like a zombie” became a metaphor for this way of living; someone so seemingly unemotional on the surface they barely seem alive. I scream my head off in the outro of the song and that scream is meant to feel like a huge release, like the moment you let it all out.
Listen to Gartland’s “Zombie!” below.