Four years ago today, Zach Bryan released the album that started it all.
On this date in 2019, he put out DeAnn, his debut record that included fan-favorite, virally popular singles like “Condemned” and “God Speed,” which ultimately peaked at #6 on the U.S. Billboard Folk chart.
Of course, this was on the heels of him having success online with grainy videos playing songs like “Heading South” and the aforementioned “God Speed,” and with literally no help whatsoever in terms of promotion, the album managed to garner him quite a bit of attention completely organically.
Like most of what he does, it was raw, unpolished, and honest, which in my opinion, is why is resonated so deeply with people all over the world.
It was very personal and meaningful project for Bryan, who was still an active-duty member of the U.S. Navy at the time, named after his late mother DeAnn Bryan, one of Zach’s biggest influences who sadly passed away in 2016.
The title track pretty much says it all in terms of how much she meant to him and what a massive loss it was in his life when she passed away.
DeAnn was recorded at an AirBnB in Jacksonville, FL, where Zach was stationed in the Navy, following in the footsteps of his father and other family members before him.
With mattresses lining the wells to improve the sound, the album was produced by his boss Leo Alba and featured the help of his friends. The result was raw, relatable, and real. And it clearly resonated, to put it mildly.
Of course, since the release of this album and two other subsequent records in Elisabeth and his major label debut studio album, 2022’s American Heartbreak, which has since been certified Platinum by the RIAA, Zach has become a country phenomenon of sorts, quickly finding his way to the forefront of the country genre.
He’s also signed a record deal with Warner Records, gone on tour selling out shows all over the country, and only continued to grow his fan base and put out more music than just about anybody over the last few years.
And funny enough, he’s gearing up to release his self-titled album Zach Bryan tonight at midnight, which means he’s once again putting out one of the most highly-anticipated albums of the year, and will include features from Kacey Musgraves, The Lumineers, The War and Treaty, and Sierra Ferrell.
It’s hard to say anything about Zach or his rapid rise to success and fame that hasn’t already been said a hundred different ways, but when you reflect on DeAnn and all of the great songs on the tracklist, it’s pretty easy to understand why it’s all unfolded the way it has.
You don’t come by an album so genuinely real and authentic to who an artist, or really a person, is very often, and his introspective writing and storytelling captures every emotion and thought so beautifully in these songs that it seems pretty impossible not to love.
Zach also shared a pretty concise message on Instagram in celebration of DeAnn’s four-year anniversary: