When a new album or EP comes out, I always want my first listen to be from top to bottom, the whole way through. The songs on an album are intentionally ordered in the way they are presented and with the invention of the “shuffle”, we can sometimes lose the true experience the artist wanted to convey. So when Zach Bryan released “Summertime Blues”, I knew I wanted to digest it track by track - here are my two cents.
Track 1: Quittin’ Time
First of all; what an intro. I appreciate it when an artist truly gives the project a proper opening, especially if it involves the banjo. Picture yourself listening to this song on a Friday after work, windows down, heading into your 48 hours off after a long week of work, and boy howdy, it’ll hit home. And a banjo solo to close it out? You’ve won my heart over already, Zach.
Track 2: Motorcycle Drive By
This song is definitely a top favorite of the EP for me. It brings me right to a summer night dancing with friends - such a catchy tune.
Check out Zach’s comments on the song from Twitter:
Track 3: Summertime Blues
This acoustic track reminds me of the early Zach Bryan days when the only place you could find his music was on YouTube and Twitter. It is pure evidence of Bryan’s songwriting skills, being 3/3 solely written by him on the album so far (spoiler alert, they’re all written by him). The birds chirping in the background is such a unique and intentional detail in the song and in my opinion, makes it even that much better. Also, as a Broncos fan, it’s pretty cool that he wrote this whole song at Mile High Stadium.
Track 4: Oklahoma Smokeshow
The first time I listened to this song, it gave me goosebumps. Not because of the lyrics or the premise of the song, but just because his voice in this song specifically hits the same nerve in my body that voices like Chris Stapleton and Caitlyn Smith do. Their projections are just pure gold. “Where small vices kill your big dreams” - what a line.
Check out Zach’s comments on the song:
Track 5: Jamie (feat. Charles Wesley Godwin)
It is such a treat to have the fiddle and Charles Wesley Godwin’s voice on this song. I am a big fan of songs that tell you a story, and this tale will rip your heart right out of your chest. I can’t say enough good things about this song, so just listen to it for yourself.
Track 6: Twenty
So As a twenty-some-year-old myself, the intro and song as a whole felt like it was written for me. It serves as a good reminder to savor the “savage” times of your life. This song is another bop and I can’t wait to hear this one life (hopefully soon!)
Track 7: Us Then
Zach Bryan is the king of sad songs, and this one is paired with a fun ass tune. I’m a sucker for a grave voice, and this song fills up my cup.
Track 8: Matt and Audie
I swear Zach Bryan has lived many lives before. His storytelling is some of the best I’ve heard in a while, and I love this song for the story. I won’t spoil anything, but encourage everyone to listen to this song and really appreciate the story he tells.
Track 9: All the Time
“Love is patient, love is kind, Should not make you lose your mind”.
Grab the tissues folks! If you’ve been through the bumps and emotions of a rough breakup, All the Time will send you traveling back in time to feel all the feels. Zach Bryan’s talent is a treasure of our time, and his songs help countless people get by in the day-to-day. Overall, I can’t recommend this artist and this EP enough and encourage everyone to please listen to it from beginning to end and appreciate the story’s told along the way.