SONG PREMIERE: Zale reveals powerful new single, 'Little Black Dress'

The Warner Robins rock 'n' roll quintet says it's okay to defy reality  


ZALE1THE SCREAM: Hannah Zale in a still from Zale's latest single, "Little Black Dress."Christian Zajicek

The Warner Robins, Georgia five-piece, Zale, turns out head-banging rock ’n’ roll that shines through the electrifying guitar chords and sleek, soulful voice of Hannah Zale.

The group pushes the limits of rock and psychedelic soul, and is ready to unveil its latest single “Little Black Dress,” on Nov. 11. The single is taken from the group’s sophomore album Eye See You, which hits record shops in January, 2018.

While the group is all about enthusiastic and upbeat rhythms, Zale possesses a deep desire for freedom and independence that comes with escaping the relentlessness of everyday life. Reality is too often oppressive — condemning those who are prone to reckless and adventurous behavior. Putting on the black dress signifies the first step in challenging the status quo.

“Every time I would feel an existential crisis coming on, or wanted to quit my life and move to an island, or felt extremely overwhelmed by the experience of being myself, I would slip into a black dress and a wig and become someone else,” Hannah Zale says. “A night of ultimate escape only made possible by my collection of wigs and little black dresses.”

The band was formed in 2015 when frontwoman Zale, guitarist Christian Gerner-Smidt, drummer Alex Morrison, bassist Jackson Reed Hodges, and electric violaist Melissa Loga came together to find the sweet spot between functioning as a humble, yet assertive rock 'n' roll band. The ensemble pushes boundaries by moving away from calming blues and roots music melodies and gravitating toward riff-heavy rock, which shines through in “Little Black Dress.”

“Little Black Dress,” according to the group, is about “getting lost in another version of yourself.” When the stresses of everyday life become too much, the desire to escape one’s self can become a favorable temptation. Through becoming another character a sense of release, power, and exhilaration can be found. Besides, it can be fun to play pretend.

The video features an army of women dressed in black dresses confidently dancing alongside frontwoman Zale. Despite many of the dancers' day jobs being accountants and office managers, once they slip into their black dresses a seductive ego takes over.

The power of femininity is shown not only in the video, but through the behind the scenes work. Zale produced the video herself, with help of Fiona Von Grey of the indie rock sister trio, Von Grey. Grey, 19-years-old, directed and edited the video as her first production outside of creating videos for her own band.

The song facilitates momentary release from the chains of routine by allowing the listener to transform into someone entirely different — a more outgoing, confident person that takes on all their fears. As someone who says sorry one too many times per day, a new, unapologetic person exits the room wearing all black.

Zale’s 2015 debut album Fortress presented a deeply soulful sound. In January Eye See You will take on a new perspective in a blissful combination of both haunting and gritty rock.

With GRECO, Three Star Revival, and Arc & Stones. $12-$15. 7 p.m. Sat., Nov. 11. Vinyl, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W. 404-885-1365 www.centerstage-atlanta.com.

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