Singer-songwriter and guitarist Peyton Gilliland drops her latest single, “Love Kills,” following on the heels of “Funeral” and “God Complex,” presaging her upcoming EP, Lipstick & Lithium.
Speaking about the track, Gilliland says, “‘Love Kills’ is about that feeling when you meet someone new and you know it’s either going to be amazing or it’s going to kill you. It’s about being burned by partners over and over until you adopt that ‘you better play your cards right or you’ll never see me again’ attitude. This song fits like a puzzle piece into my EP, following that same sassy villain character that is my alter ego.”
Only 20 years old, Gilliland has already worked with some of the top producers in the music world, including Lincoln Parish (Cage the Elephant), Brian Chirlo (Amy Winehouse, Paramore, Snoop Dog) and Mads (Imagine Dragons).
A finalist in both the John Lennon International Songwriting Competition and the International Songwriting Competition, Gilliland’s latest project, her forthcoming EP, should be a humdinger, full of lyrical punches and drenching guitars.
With hundreds of thousands of streams on Spotify, highlighted by “Type” and “Devil’s Daughter,” for Gilliland it all began when she grew up singing in church, while at the same time listening to rock music. At age 15, she started working with Cage the Elephant’s Lincoln Parish, who, recognizing her talent, pushed her to the limit, resulting in her feeling freer and self-confident.
A gig at the Basement in Nashville turned out to be her coming out party. According to Gilliland, “I guess I shed my shell at that show. When I came off-stage, I was like, ‘Wow, I now understand why people like to do this so much!’”
“Love Kills” opens on a low-slung rhythm made up of tapping percussion and a plump bassline, followed by the entry of Gilliland’s evocative voice. A glowing bridge leads to elevated harmonics – thick waves of guitar and an extended, potent beat.
Radiant vocal harmonies add depth and dimension, highlighting Gilliland’s vocals, at once nuanced with yummy inflections and emotive surfaces that imbue the lyrics with dark, passionate timbres.
“Every villain was once a victim / I’ve got plenty of scars myself / All of the classic symptoms / Forged in hell / Cross your heart / Love kills.”
A visceral, shadowy, affecting track, “Love Kills” showcases Peyton Gilliland’s Medusa-like voice amidst layered, throbbing guitars.