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Zach Seals – Open

By Steve B.

April 26, 2021

Subtle contrasts permeate the music of Zach Seals, a Baltimore MD native currently living in Boston and attending Berklee School of Music. The depth and complexity of his work signal Zach as an artist to follow.

Zach’s EP “It Was Never That Deep” was released in 2019 and is a good introduction to his work and range. “Lullaby” is the gem of the album and highlights Zach’s beautiful voice that seamlessly dances between octaves. The corner stone of Zach’s music, highlighted in “Lullaby,” is confronting and exposing adversity, sadness, and despair, but offering a glimmer of hope and confidence that there may be something better on the other side. These are not songs of doom and gloom or resigned melancholy. They are an acknowledgment and confronting of those emotions with a strength and conviction. “Forget You” is another great track. Zach’s vocals ride the surface of the song and lament a failed relationship. Below the vocals, the drum and bass weave a shifting and unstable foundation—a fitting counterpoint. These conflicts and contrasts come to the forefront in “Exi$ential Cri$i$.” The song starts with distorted, overlaid vocals: “Bitch who are you? What do you stand for? Will you be loved in your home town? Were you an outcast? It takes a village to raise you up and stomp you down.” This gives way to the power ballad vocals and piano: “If I die, don’t you cry for me.”

Zach released the single “Open” last month. The style and structure mimic “Exi$ential Cri$i$,” beginning with distorted, overlaid vocals that are a harsh confrontation of inner destructive thoughts. The song then flips to a slower melodic lament of these feelings: “I don’t want to live this life. You don’t know how many nights I’ve cried. Daydreaming of suicide. I’m breathing but I don’t feel alive.”

“Open” is beautiful and haunting. It is also a reminder of the emotional toll COVID and the pandemic has had on us, especially those who were already vulnerable. Now more than ever we need to look out for each other and not be afraid to ask for help.



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