T-minus 10 hours…
Zach Bryan’s highly anticipated album American Heartbreak is being released tonight at midnight, and apart from the huge pop he’s about to receive from mainstream fans around the globe, it’s really a salute and send-off moment from those who have been following since the beginning.
I will never gatekeep and say that new people who are about to hear him for the first time can’t be swept up in the moment and join in, in fact I can’t encourage anything more strongly, but will you honestly say this doesn’t mean something extra for the long timers?
Ever since “Condemned” went viral, Zach has drawn in millions of people searching for something more, even if they don’t exactly know what that more is.
Maybe they recently had their heart broken, or maybe they did the breaking. Maybe they lost their job, or maybe they’re stuck in the same dead-end. Maybe a family member or friend had passed away, maybe they just left their family, friends, and hometown. Maybe they’re sick of repetitive songs with surface level lyrics, maybe they didn’t know there was another option.
Regardless of the why, Zach gave each and every one of us a what. No one, and I mean no one, has been able to so effectively tap into the dark corners of our hearts and pull out the memories, failures, wins, and struggles, weaving them so poignantly in each of his songs.
But not only has Zach helped us navigate our roads, he’s been on a hell of one himself. From the loss of his mom, to finding love, to losing that love but finding friends to help him through, we’ve all been witness to his refusal of the mundane and nosedive into the tight space where both glory and failure present themselves.
While at the end of the day, fate decides which of those two results come about, there’s no doubt seeing the full acceptance of that road is as inspirational as it is comforting that a life like that is not only possible, but available to those who chose it.
With all of this in mind, Zach had this to say on the eve of his first ever studio album.
“Throughout the course of my life, I have tried so hard in everything I have ever done and I can say I’ve never put more into anything as I have this group of songs.
Falling out of love, falling into love, losing friendships, gaining friends, walking Jack around New York City at eight a.m, on my way to Electric Lady to record.
If you’d like to know the true state of humanity, watch the smile on peoples faces as an Oklahoman and a Labrador retriever named Jack Daniels walk by a bodega.
I decided to record American Heartbreak in New York because I didn’t want it to sound like anything else. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I don’t want a genre, I don’t want a scene, I don’t want a title.
I just want to make music. The respect I have for musicians in other genre’s and scene’s is insurmountable but, personally, I think the best outcomes come from the freedom of whatever a moment or song feels like on any given day.
The last five years of my life have been a true tall-tale, from the loss of my mother, deployments to countries far from home, failure, success, a national tour, sunrises in Seattle, sunsets in New York, smiles in Tulsa, fights in Philadelphia, coast-lines, close-calls, mountains, rivers, flatlands, valleys, loss, love, healing, hurting and forgiving.
I did my best to fit all of that into this collection of songs. My only ambitions in this life are to never bend to the thoughtless routines of this world, to always move slow enough to watch the sunrise, and to accept every single person for who they are, exactly where they stand, regardless if they return the favor.
God bless and God speed, I pray everyone finds something in American Heartbreak.”
Let’s freaking GO.
If that doesn’t fire you up, I don’t know what will. Zach is a master of crafting a message in a way that’s so universal that all can understand, yet so personal that we’re brought, just for a moment, into his world.
Break out the whiskey, I’m staying up til midnight for this one…