alayna teases debut album with new single ‘Buckle In Baby’

January 20, 2023 BY Ken Li

“…she makes gossamer pop music, melodies draped in ethereal beauty.” – CLASH

“Redefining what it means to make a mood.” – Okayplayer

New Zealand singer and songwriter alayna has hit the ground running in 2023 with her new single ‘Buckle In Baby’, paving the way for the release of her debut album.

Listen to ‘Buckle In Baby’ HERE

Undoubtedly one of New Zealand music’s ‘best kept secrets’ – alayna made her mark in 2022 with the upcoming album’s first two singles ‘If You Want My Love’ and ‘Cherry Tree’. She now follows it up with ‘Buckle In Baby’, which firms up her growing reputation for delivering deeply moving songs that cut deep.

“‘Buckle in Baby’ sets the scene of where I am at this stage in my life; feelings of lostness and detachment, as well as seeming to be a passenger in my own story,” explains alayna.


Produced by Noema Te Hau; recorded at Big Fan Studios in Auckland; mixed by the award-winning Simon Gooding and mastered by Joe LaPorta from Sterling Sound, ‘Buckle In Baby’ is accompanied by a simple, yet striking, visualiser shot by Courtney Tyler, and edited by edited by Undine Markus, which perfectly captures the sentiment of the song.

Watch the visualiser HERE

“I wanted to highlight the feeling of being on the back of a car. It is meant to feel a bit detached and lost and showcases the feeling of being stuck in a repetitive loop or cycle,” explains alayna.

Today’s release gives longtime fans, and also those who are only just discovering the magic of alayna, a taste of what they can expect from her highly anticipated debut album. “It is an important narrative and introduction to the journey that I proceed to go on, mentally, emotionally and artistically throughout my album,” she says.

The previously released singles ‘Cherry Tree’ and ‘If You Want My Love’ have already amassed tens of thousands of streams across platforms, with the latter single also receiving widespread radio play in her homeland. Both singles also made their mark on the official NZ charts – most recently ‘If You Want My Love’ sitting at #33 in the Hot 40 Singles Chart and #4 in the Hot 20 NZ Singles Chart.

Currently based in Auckland, alayna has been an avid explorer of herself for years, and, though she’s just coming to terms with herself now, she realizes, too, that she’ll be ever-changing, evolving, and continuing to figure things out. alayna’s new material sees her slowly transition from an R&B and soulful singer to a singer-songwriter where her lyrical skills truly shine. Growing up listening to heavyweights such as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, alayna’s songwriting depth can be attributed to these influences and the experiences that shaped her. And this is evident in ‘Buckle In Baby’.

“It feels like one of my most honest and vulnerable songs I’ve released. I have written a lot about my relationships with others, but it is one of the few so far that I have written about the relationship with myself. It’s particularly preparing the listener for the upcoming album and the content and depth of the subjects I’m going to explore and release this year.” 

alayna’s debut EP Sweet Soul was released back in 2018 and amassed over 30+ million streams. The single ‘Falling Autumn’reached #8 on Spotify’s US Viral chart and got spins on BBC Radio 1. The EP’s closing track ‘Between Dusk And Dawn’ is an emotionally raw ballad she co-wrote with Grammy Award-winning FINNEAS. Her acclaimed sophomore EP Tender came out in 2020, in which HillyDilly said she “has one of the best voices, and her delicate melodies are second-to-none… she continues to impress on each release.”

alayna is currently putting the finishing touches to her debut full-length studio album for Nettwerk, due out later this year.