Nowhere Left To Go is the latest offering of ten new original songs from Layla Zoe. Now residing in the Netherlands, this album shows a much deeper, more reflective side, of this fiercely independent artist.
The album also has a rich diversity about it, not in part from the impressive list of co-writers that contributed to the line up. Brought about by the necessity of staying home in a pandemic, it is the most heartfelt and personal set of tunes she has released in her career, so far.
The album opens with a pair of cuts, co-written with Jackie Venson. “Pray” is a powerful Gospel-based message of awakening and hope in these dark times, while the title track draws from the horrific images of the Australia wild fires.
Up next is “Sometimes we Fight”, an exploration of the often rocky nature of one-on-one relationships, that was co written with Bob Fridzema. The fourth cut, “Don’t Wanna Help Anyone” was written with the legendary Alistair Greene, drawn from very personal experiences with someone who demands help constantly, yet refuses to help others.
The fifth cut, “This Love Will Last” is a funky little ditty inspired by the unconditional love of a pet,, that was inspired by her dog and co-written with Dimitri Lebel. The sixth cut, “Susan”, focuses on the insecurities we all have, another co-write with Bob Fridzema.
Next up is “Little Boy”, in which Layla explores a real life story loosely based on personal experience, brilliantly brought to life with co-writer Guy Smeets, who also worked with Layla on the next cut, “Might Need To Fly” which is an homage to a dear friend, Janet Zopfi of Toronto, to whom the album is also dedicated.
The ninth cut on the album was co-written with Brandi Disterheft. “Lies” is a scathing rebuke of issues that some might dismiss as conspiracy theories, but are coming to light as horrific realities. The album closes with a beautiful and touching tribute to her mother, co-written with Suzie Vinnick. “Dear Mom” is the perfect finish to an deeply personal, often rowdy, journey through the heart, mind and music of Canada’s Darling of the Blues.
For longtime fans it is a special sonic treat. For the uninitiated, it is a wonderful introduction to a powerful vocalist, impressive writer and beautiful soul. (Terry Parsons)