Zach Bryan, an American singer-songwriter has rapidly gained fame since his debut album titled “Deann”, released in 2019.
Since then, he has gathered the attention of millions with his poetic lyrics and All-American presence. His most popular song, “Something in the Orange”, has nearly 500 million streams on Spotify.
His newest self-titled album, “Zach Bryan”, released Aug. 25, showcases his pure talent for songwriting.
Zach Bryan served in the U.S. Navy, where he originally planned on staying before his music career took off. In a podcast with Joe Rogan, Bryan revealed that he wrote poems constantly throughout his childhood, eventually calling them songs after he learned “songs” are taken more seriously.
After Bryan began posting YouTube videos of himself singing, he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy to pursue his career in music. The only other musician to be honorably discharged from military service for music was Elvis Presley.
Bryan’s newest album consists of 15 songs and one spoken word poem, accumulating to 54 minutes and 23 seconds of soul and heartache.
The album opens with “Fear and Friday’s (Poem)”. There is no guitar or percussion, just Bryan’s voice. The poem consists of meaningful statements like, “I do not and will not fear tomorrow because I feel as though today has been enough.” This opening is an untraditional beginning to a new album, going back to Bryan’s original roots with poetry.
The second song on the album, “Overtime,” starts with a bluesy instrumental version of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” quickly preceded by strong percussion and the guitar that made his name. The song is a testament to defying preconceived notions of others and building a name for yourself.
Bryan sings, “I’ll become what I deserve when it’s all through / And you’ll be there asking yourself why,” a simple reminder that growing out of spite is still growth.
The fourth song on Bryan’s album, “East Side of Sorrow,” explores the faith that’s lost when pain and tragedy invades a life. Bryan shares the fear and confusion he felt being 18 and an active duty military member, looking to faith for solace.
In the song, Bryan ponders to God, asking for comfort. He continues the song singing, “He said the sun’s gonna rise tomorrow / Somewhere on the east side of sorrow / You better pack your bags west / Stick out your chest / And then hit the road.”
Bryan’s newest album takes a more folk and somber adjustment. Contrary to his other pieces, like “Motorcycle Drive-by” or “Revival”, which harbor a more lighthearted feeling. This new album is reminiscent of traditional folk, with harmonica accompaniments and slow guitar strumming paired with tender lyrics.
The thirteenth song on Bryan’s album, “Spotless” featuring The Lumineers, is a testimony to attempting to be at peace with one’s mistakes and imperfections.
The chorus goes; “I ain’t spotless, neither is you / For once in my life, I’m gonna see it through.”
Bryan pairing with an already established true folk band only solidifies the folk roots throughout this album, straying further from his original country style music and into softer soulful rhythms.
Overall, Zach Bryans newest self-titled album “Zach Bryan” is some of his best work. This album seems to be more true to his spirit and relays the messages he has been holding.
All kinds of music lovers will find bits of themselves within Bryans lyrics, his poetic lyrics simply relate to the joys and pities of being a human.