LONDON, UK — PRETTYBIRD Director Sophie Muller has lensed the official music video for Zella Day’s “Mushroom Punch.” The track is taken from the LA and Austin-based singer/songwriter Zella Day’s forthcoming sophomore album “Sunday In Heaven” (which will be released on October 14 via Concord Records).
Described as a “psychedelic trip for the heart” by Day, “Mushroom Punch” is a song that showcases Day’s expansive voice like no other. Award-winning director Sophie Muller directed the music video, which was filmed over two days at Pen Moel Estate, and Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. Sophie envisioned Day as a contemporary “Alice in Wonderland,” filming her in the British countryside setting, with a dreamy aesthetic.
Sophie Muller and production company PRETTYBIRD took a small crew to the forest and country house locations, where they achieved the dreamy visual aesthetic using drones, experimental editing, and cinematography. Sophie teamed up again with Director of Photography Robbie Ryan on the promo, which contradicts and shifts visually with Day’s energetic performance, juxtaposed with the ethereal directorial gaze of Sophie. PRETTYBIRD Co-founder Juliette Larthe was the executive producer and Chris Murdoch produced.
What sets “Mushroom Punch” apart from other music videos is the way it captures the intimacy of the song and Day’s vocals, utilizing the magical settings of a light-filled forest, and in a stroke of directorial genius, Sophie filmed the American singer playfully tripping through an English country house. Muller has directed a promo with constantly moving imagery, crafting a narrative that shifts and weaves to evoke a psychedelic mushroom trip, and brings to life the lyrics:
“I’m going to mushroom punch my way down the rabbit hole
And I drink too much
And think too much
I’m going to mushroom punch my way down the rabbit hole.”
With every new album an artist makes, there’s an evolution, another chapter; for Zella Day – her new record, “Sunday In Heaven,” is a whole other book. It’s not so much that it’s a step away from her debut “Kicker” –although this new record’s richness, ambition, and bare-bones intimacy is significant. It’s that Zella has entered a new era personally, and the effect of this on her music is pronounced and powerful, creating an album that is light years forward in sound and scope from its predecessor.
When she began working on the album, Day penned some 70 songs for “Sunday In Heaven” that were ultimately whittled to ten tracks steeped in Cali blue skies and golden hour light. Some were written on a tablecloth in Ojai (“Almost Good”), some scribbled at her kitchen table, and others came in a car driving down to Chino, where she spent the summer of 2019 demoing the album with her friend, producer/engineer John Velasquez. Eventually, in the middle of quarantine, the pair jumped in a Jeep Wrangler, driving cross-country to record with producer Jay Joyce, at his Nashville studio The Neon Church.
Director: Sophie Muller
DoP: Robbie Ryan
Production Company: PRETTYBIRD
Co-Founder / Executive Producer: Juliette Larthe
Head of Production: Fiona Bamford-Phillips
Producer: Chris Murdoch
Production Manager: Sam Page-Jones
Camera/Lighting Assistant: Rory Power
Drone Operator (Day 1): Andrew Lawrence
Drone Operator (Day 2): Mike Foyle
Art Department: Lili Fletcher
Stylist: Tiffani Rae
Hair & Makeup Artist: Margherita Fabbro
Stunt Coordinator/Performer: Rachael Evelyn
Medic: Gary Sanderson
Edit & Grade: Sophie Muller
Commissioner: Dilly Gent
Record Label: Concord Records
Management: Red Light Management
Manager: Jessi Tichenor
With special thanks to Emmyland, Helen O’Kane at Puzzlewood, Tom and Jenny Hunter at Pen Moel Estate, Yvette at Harts Barns Cookery School