This is perhaps a personal favourite from Zach Andersen to date. To listen and initially forget all about writing a review is precisely the effect you want from a new piece of music. I found myself simply sitting and listening, letting the song surround me. The music is so delicate, purely acoustic to begin with, though something about Zach’s voice here feels extremely authentic and slightly vulnerable. As he delivers the words and the melody, it feels truthful, powerful, despite the softness of the sound.
There’s an unquestionable level of realness and humanity to these words, and Zach’s presentation is totally entrancing. On top of this, the melody develops beautifully – the build up towards the hook is simple yet slightly familiar, comforting in the way that a soulfully gentle acoustic song should be. Then when you get to the chorus; this incredibly poignant and memorable moment emerges. The lyrics and the change in melody hit with immense impact, the words are fresh, unfamiliar, original. The notes chosen satisfy, but at the same time they leave you with a sense of something unresolved – the questioning nature of the lyrics adds to this. There’s a dash of uncertainty and that furthers the sense of longing inherent in the music.
Zach has written a stunning song here. There’s nothing stylistically different about it, technically speaking, but the formula just works. The subtlety, the realness – not faked, not intended to gain a reaction, just there because that’s why you write songs in this way; because they have to be written, they have to be put out into the world, to get them out of your head. These are often the most interesting ones to witness.
Arrangement and production wise, it’s the little touches that really help this shine so brightly. Zach leads the way with his gorgeously compelling performance, but simple additions such as the accompanying vocal part from Lucy Isabel, and a touch of cello from Laura Klein, really help raise it all up. A totally immersive and addictively emotional song that sky-rockets Zach Andersen to a whole other level of songwriting.
A Promise was produced by Nathan Sage of White House Productions & mastered by Dan Coutant of Sun Room Audio. Download the song via Bandcamp. Find & follow Zach Andersen on Facebook, Twitter, Reverbnation & Instagram.