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Falcon Quill

The student news site of Fort Worth Country Day

Falcon Quill

Zach Bryan Releases New Album
Zach Bryan’s new album titled “Zach Bryan” was released on August 25, 2023. Photo from

On August 25, Zach Bryan dropped his new album labeled “Zach Bryan.” Bryan is a popular folk and country artist whose fame has continued to grow over the past few years. He’s widely known for his albums titled “DeAnn,” “Elisabeth,” “American Heartbreak,” and “All My Homies Hate Ticketmaster (Live from Red Rocks).”

Bryan is very open about the fact that a majority of his songs are based on personal experience, and they hit close to home for him and his emotions. While some of the songs on this album may be controversial because he mentions his ex-wife, people do not like how he served his divorce papers to her (while she was overseas serving in the U.S. Army), I choose to ignore this fact so that I can continue to like Bryan. It makes me sad to know that he would do this, and it makes me feel extremely sorry for his wife. I feel a sense of disappointment knowing that Bryan would do this. 

He is one of my personal favorite singers, and what better way to showcase that than to share my thoughts and opinions on his most recent album. You’ll find that I really love a good majority of the songs in this album. I highly recommend giving “Zach Bryan” a listen because it is great, fantastic, emotional, and relatable. 

Track 1 : Fear and Fridays (poem) (1:47)

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I think the idea of starting an album off with a poem is unique because not many artists do that. The poem is super interesting, and it details a lot of activities that Bryan has experienced throughout his life as well as characteristics he would give himself, and it also almost serves as a glimpse of a way to better get to know Bryan. I don’t think the poem is something I would repeatedly listen to, unless I am listening to the whole album in order because it’s just him speaking, and I would much rather listen to music. I would rate it about a 6/10. 

Track 2: Overtime (3:11)

The very start of “Overtime” begins with the National Anthem, so I think that this helps the song start off on a powerful note, which helps since it is the first song on the album. The song is more upbeat than some of the others. I really like it, so I would give it about a 9.2/10. 

Track 3: Summertime’s Close (3:06)

This song hits particularly differently at the end of summertime. The lyrics in this ong are wholesome and sweet. In my opinion, it’s definitely towards the top of the album, but it seems as though I will think that about most of the other songs as well. I would rate it an 8.8/10. 

Track 4: East Side of Sorrow (3:29)

All of Bryan’s songs reflect personal anecdotes, but the ones in “East Side of Sorrow” really stand out to me because they are about grief and losing someone very close to you. I think that topic can hit close to home and strike any person emotionally. But,  the song ultimately has a positive and uplifting message that the sun will continue to rise, no matter what. I love this song, therefore, I would rate it a 9.8/10. 

Track 5: Hey Driver (feat.The War and Treaty) (3:48)

“Hey Driver” is really catchy and has great lyrics that demonstrate frustration, a desire to escape, and also the need of being strong in your faith. I also love this one, and I think that it is a good driving song, hence the title. I find the song to be extremely calming, and I would probably give it about an 8.8/10. 

Track 6: Fear and Friday’s (2:51)

I definitely like “Fear and Friday’s,” the song, more than “Fear and Friday’s,” the poem. I might like it so much because Friday is one of my favorite days of the week. Throughout the song, Bryan details how he has tackled fear in his life and how it has made him feel relieved, and he does a good job of making the song feel more relatable to his audience. I would rate the song an 8/10.

Track 7: Ticking (4:02)

“Ticking” is another great song. Bryan mainly talks about how time keeps on ticking and life will keep on going which is why I find the song to be wholesome and sweet. I would probably give the song at least an 8/10. 

Track 8: Holy Roller (feat. Sierra Ferrell) (3:36)

This song is another favorite of mine, as I love it so much. It’s even blown up in a TikTok trend where people post a photo of someone or something that has helped to contribute to feelings of redemption or a connection. I think the trend has contributed to its popularity. I find the song to, yet again, be endearing. Sierra Ferrell, who sings with Bryan on this track, was not someone who I knew of before this song, but I think her voice pairs excellently with Bryan’s. I would rate this song a 9.2/10. 

Track 9: Jake’s Piano – Long Island (5:19)

This is not one of my favorite songs, so I honestly don’t really listen to it as much. It details the struggle with finding happiness after experiencing a loss. I think that 5 minutes and 19 seconds is quite long for a song, so I’d give it about a 6/10. 

Track 10: El Dorado (3:03)

“El Dorado” starts off with a more instrumental and upbeat beginning than most of the other songs. I find the song to be relatively more fast-paced as well. I also really like the song and the story that is encapsulated in it. It demonstrates feelings of nostalgia, and Bryan expresses the struggle of losing connection with someone you are close with. I would probably rate the song an 8.9/10.

Track 11: I Remember Everything (feat. Kacey Musgraves) (3:47)

This is my absolute favorite song on the album. I think it is so incredibly good. This might be because I love Kacey Musgraves and Zach Bryan, so I love their combination. The song is reflective on past memories, and the emotions that come with them. I think it is worth giving not just one, but multiple listens. I think it would score a 10/10 just since I love it and the lyrics so much. 

Track 12: Tourniquet (3:09)

“Tourniquet” is probably towards the top of my list of favorites. It starts off with the piano in the background and lower vocals then it slowly builds up over time then slows back down at the end. I find the song to be inspirational as it details supporting someone that is going through a difficult time. I would give this song a 9.6/10. 

Track 13: Spotless (feat. The Lumineers) (2:50)

I think that the recording and lyrics of “Spotless” are done really well, as the song demonstrates the acknowledgements of being imperfect and everyday struggles. The Lumineers also add great vocals, and this song ranks towards the top (even though I really don’t dislike any of the songs).  I would rate this song a 9/10. 

Track 14: Tradesmen (3:08)

“Tradesmen” is a slower song that gradually builds up as Bryan gets closer and closer to the chorus. I definitely like the chorus more than the beginning because of how upbeat it is. It emphasizes the fulfillment that a person gains when they complete a task. I think this song deserves about an 8.5/10 as I think it’s really good, but it is not an absolute favorite of mine. 

Track 15: Smaller Acts (3:07)

“Smaller Acts” might be my second favorite song. It is recorded outside in a field. To me, that means it hits closer to home for Bryan since he recorded it in a more natural setting for him. I think it is incredible, but you do have to get past a bird crowing in the background, which I do think is a little strange. I would still give it a 9/10. I docked a point for the animal noises. 

Track 16: Oklahoman Son (4:10)

I don’t listen to this song a whole lot, so I feel like I cannot give its rating a fair shot. I think the song will grow on me over time, though, especially as it speaks to being away from home and wishing to return.  I would give the song about a 7.8./10.

Obviously, I have very few complaints about this album, so I would 100% recommend listening to it if you haven’t already.

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About the Contributor
Caroline Carmichael
Caroline Carmichael, Managing Online and Sports Editor
Hey guys, it’s me, Caroline Leigh Carmichael, and I am the Managing Online and Sports Editor.  I’m a super-duper senior and it’s my fourth year on the Quill staff. Currently, I’m majorly crushing on Dansby Swanson; that’s my whole reason for liking the Atlanta Braves, but he’s not even on the team anymore so I’m not sure why I still like them but “Chop on.” Some say that my best trait is my gnome-like height, but I say it’s my aptitude for hitting absolute dingers in softball. If you can’t find me, I’m probably somewhere on TCU’s campus hanging out with my big bro and favorite Quill veteran, Jack Carmichael '22. But will I go to TCU? Absolutely not. I’m a baby-never kinda gal. Sorry Darie Berrie and TC. My favorite Quill memory is trying ice cream with my fellow Quillies during freshman year. The thought of us awkwardly sitting around a picnic table, seeing each other without masks for the first time in over a year, and chowing down on some homemade ice cream always warms my heart, even though I’m pretty sure the producer is no longer in operation. Bummer :(
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