Posts Tagged ‘False Spring’

Zachary Cale is an American songwriter/musician based in NYC. “False Spring” is his 6th full length album. To be released May 29th, 2020.

“False Spring”, Zachary Cale’s sixth full-length album, explores the spaces between the cold we left behind and the uncertainty ahead, between that fleeting, green warmth and its lack. “Shine a light on the path so I can see,” Cale sings on the album opener, “Shine,” making a plea for hope and happiness rather than merely claiming it, starting the search for whatever possibility may exist. And the album explores so many possible paths in ever-shifting textures. On “Come Morning,” Cale admits “I’m just sitting on a fence, two fingers out to test the wind” while on others songs — the disorienting anxiety of “Mad Season”; the bittersweet travel of “By Starlight”; the mix of hope and regret that comes from staying afloat on “Slide” — False Spring vacillates between facing down the troubling now, reckoning with and paying tribute to then, and sifting through the dark to find the faintest match-head of light for tomorrow.

Cale’s poetic lyrics etches out all these themes in complex layers and careful melodies, but the band he assembled for False Spring drives home the sense of openness and possibility in these songs. Cale is accompanied here by Brent Cordero on piano, Wurlitzer and organ, James Preston on bass, and Charles Burst and Jason Labbe on drums. Cale brought the songs to the studio and enlisted the players to flesh them out. He didn’t write parts for the musicians; they figured out their own way through these tunes. The record is the sound of the band finding itself, capturing these songs live in all their subtle, ragged glory. The album’s 16 songs run just over an hour, but the expansive record is, at every turn, an intimate affair, the listener invited in as these players find connections between this part and that, between one song and another, between melody and feeling.

Stylistically, the band never hems itself in, expanding its sound and morphing it over the album’s extended playing time. Early tracks set up shop within lean, dusty folk rock, but things change from there. There are touches of cosmic Americana and country and some Petty-esque tight yet gauzy rompers. Several tracks are instrumentals, acknowledging roots and stretching exercises for Cale and the band. The sweet, solo guitar of the title track, for instance, uncovers some of the early country-blues sounds humming under these tunes, while “Magnetic North” whips up a full-band blues stomper. These instrumentals, and the album as a whole, explore tangents and push at borders, but while they add variety they also — on a more fundamental level — suggest cohesion at the heart of the album’s wide-open sound and aesthetic.

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False Spring is Cale’s first album in five years, since the gauzy and atmospheric gem, “Duskland”. The album was received well, a tour followed but within the year Cale refocused his energy on writing new material. In 2016 he went on a solo tour opening for Dan Bejar of Destroyer in smaller cities across America. More recently he’s been playing in a spattering of other bands and supporting other musical projects.

And all that time, he’s kept one foot in the studio, recording lots of material, several albums worth. And all of this on top of a full-time job. In short, like so many independent musicians, Zachary Cale has been working.

This new album, though, isn’t the sound of work at all. It’s the sound of setting thought aside to feel the music. This doesn’t set out to make a product; this album explores a process. And, as a result, these dusty, bittersweet tunes stretch out, they breathe. They live in all the in-between spaces Cale evokes so beautifully in his lyrics. The fleeting spring can leave, the new growth may get marred by frost, but the warmth of these songs — in all their hope and worry and anxiety and open possibility — will stay with you long after the final note ripples out of the speaker.

Released May 29th, 2020

Performed by:

Zachary Cale: vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric piano, synthesizer
James Preston: bass
Brent Cordero: piano, wurlitzer, organ
Jason Labbe: drums, percussion
Charles Burst: drums, percussion

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Zachary Cale is an American songwriter/musician based in NYC. False Spring is his 6th full length album. To be released May 29th, 2020

From pop to rock to hip hop to country, music is increasingly being mechanized. Autotune, synths, mixers, and laptops are the items of choice, as artists focus on creating loud, anthemic, and catchy songs. Pockets, however, exist within each genre, where a musician or band rewind the clocks and create music from bygone eras. Their music is driven by a simple but embracing melody and features stories which should be read and not just heard. Singer-songwriter Zachary Cale is one such individual, whose indie-folk approach recalls Guthrie, Dylan, and Baez. To call him a throwback would be a compliment because he is a rare breed today.

Five years ago, the Louisiana-born, Brooklyn based Cale released the masterful Duskland, which was indie-folk given the widescreen treatment. Since then, he’s released a couple of EPs, including a covers one, but otherwise he’s been relatively quiet. Earlier this week, however, he announced that his sixth full-length album will be released later in the spring, and he shared its first single, “Riverbed”.

“Riverbed” is a classic slice of indie-folk and Americana. There aren’t any bells or whistles. There are just the familiar, sweet notes of a keyboard and a couple of guitars and the steady pulses of rhythms. Cale’s soft vocals, meanwhile, rise through the sweet melody, and he’s reflects on his life. For nearly five minutes, he delivers a confession, and, in the process, he seeks redemption. It is not through the concrete streets of Manhattan that he searches for forgiveness and a resurrection. Instead, he takes us back to Louisiana and the stream behind his childhood home. Together, we dip into its waters and find salvation.

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False Spring. This double LP, which features 16 songs, arrives May 29th on Cale’s own imprint All Hands Electric.