Zach Bryan — whose work swings from rock, roots, folk, Americana, country, and beyond — has delivered yet another soulful compilation, this time bringing on Bon Iver and Noah Kahan for the ride.
On the heels of his self-titled album, which debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 albums chart and moved the equivalent of 200,000 units in its first week, the Oklahoma-raised singer-songwriter released a new five-song EP titled Boys of Faith on Friday.
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The title track features Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, as the tumbling chorus declares, “High tide has been risin’ up/I’ve been gettin’ up with some boys I used to know/We’re tryin’ to get our pockets up/This year has just been movin’ fuckin’ slow.”
Bryan hinted at the collaboration on Sunday night, taking to social media to share a trio of fresh songs, thanking the folk group and Kahan. “Locked myself in a studio all week, wrote myself through a notebook, walked around with people I love in the city then went campin, felt restful and hopeful, thankful for breathing no matter the day,” wrote Bryan, before closing out with, “them boys of faith.”
The EP unravels like an ode to the past and nostalgic, but not always better, times. Kahan, who features in “Sarah’s Place,” picks up the second verse: “I love your mother’s stories ’bout you as a kid/I heard you scored a job in the east villag/ While working for some folks who don’t know your name/Well, ain’t you gonna miss all of them wasted days?”
Elsewhere in the EP, the singer includes previously unreleased track, “Pain, Sweet Pain.” When asked by a fan on X, formerly known as Twitter, if an earlier post inspired the drop, Bryan replied, “No but a happy accident brother, God is good like that sometimes.”
Bryan’s major-label debut, 2022’s American Heartbreak, topped the country chart, while his single, “Something in the Orange,” landed on the Hot 100 before ever going to country radio. Yet his latest LP’s duet with Kacey Musgraves, “I Remember Everything,” scored both artists their first Number One song on the Hot 100, and all 16 tracks from Zach Bryan landed in the Top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100.
If his meteoric rise on the charts and Boys of Faith are a sign of things to come, his success is no “accident.”
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