LA based Singer-Songwriter Zach Churchill bares his soul in new single “Surrender”
Los Angeles-based Singer Songwriter Zach Churchill bares his soul without reservation on his confessional, potent new album “Greater Than”, due for release on October 28, 2022. Lead single “Surrender” came out July 15, and it’s an appropriate precursor to this bold project, exploring difficult feelings and painful trauma with a brave curious spirit. The single deals with addiction and hopelessness, yet there is healing and hope in it’s underlying music and message. Whether welcoming or foreboding, truth is Zach‘s artistic and life mantra, so those ready for thought-provoking self-inquiry will find this release refreshing.
Zach Churchill’s honesty is disarming, as is his dedication to his artistic craft. This is someone who has been through it all, which makes for genuine storytelling. Two more singles are planned for release prior to the full album in October.
Zach elaborates on the album-writing process, how it was therapeutic and encouraged him to trust his inner compass: “Greater Than was written and recorded in Sherman Oaks, CA with my producer and friend, Tom Rasulo. Amidst a bunch of changes and trials in my personal life, the studio was a refuge and safe place for me to process all that was happening. I was able to explore difficult feelings, reflect on my current circumstances, and digest painful experiences. Basically, this album was incredibly therapeutic. It represents an incredibly important period in my life when I finally began to trust myself.
The title track, “Greater Than”, is about making other people your Higher Power and then being disappointed when they let you down, and finally coming to terms with the painful truth that no human being will ever be able to save or fix you.
“Surrender” is about addiction being the result of untreated trauma. “Each day is the same, I wake up in pain, and repeat what I fear with no resolution.”
“The past, it is real, and it’s living inside you. This pain, it can heal, you can change if you want to…”
Tracklist: 1. Surrender, 2. Greater Than, 3. Living in L.A., 4. Reach You, 5. Love & Terror, 6. I Can’t Stand Myself, 7. Hover, 8. Sonoyta, 9. How To Live, 10. Then We Can Think About Dying
With an expressively vulnerable voice, singer-songwriter Zach Churchill breathes life, love, and gratitude into absorbing narratives. Sophisticated arrangements, inventive modulations, and superlative musicality are hallmarks of the Orange County, California native’s debut collection, Heartbreak & Hope. 11 songs serve as musical mile markers commemorating a ten-year journey through his twenties — a decade that he barely survived.
He pulls no punches: His lead single “Bartender” chronicles a harrowing heroin overdose. “The person I’m singing to saved my life,” Zach explains. “He was closing up at 2:00 a.m. at the venue when I overdosed. Everyone was gone, but he checked the bathroom because the light was on. The door was locked, so he got the key and found me. If he had just gone home I’d be dead.” In the hospital, after a medically induced coma, Zach was forced to face his family and himself. “You hit your bottom when you stop digging,” he says. “The song is all about my saying ‘I’m done.’”
Heartbreak and Hope was recorded with noted producer, artist, and multi-instrumentalist Julian Coryell who invited key musicians to power the tracks. Notes Zach, “Julian was able to take my songs and put them in new outfits, to vary them stylistically and create dynamic contrasts. I can’t say enough about his musicianship and his ability to help me get to the truth of what I wanted to say.”
Zach’s truth is the defining through line. A bouncy horn-driven arrangement with a pronounced pop chorus on “I May Be,” is a study in contrasts with the line, “I might be in hell today/But tomorrow I could be made whole.” Tempestuous romance shades the pensive “Are We Still Here.” The hard-hitting “Start Over” asks, “If you could be born again/Would you do it all the same?” As Zach observes, “I would do things differently. I make mistakes every day, but to go back and correct them would defeat the purpose. I’m grateful for exactly where I am.”
On a recent journey Zach traveled The Camino de Santiago, an ancient European pilgrim route leading to the tomb of St. James in northwest Spain, a sacred path with a profound history. “I was surrounded by people who were on the pilgrimage for spiritual reasons, this great family,” he recalls. “With the right attitude, every day of my life can be an adventure like The Camino.”
The concluding words in his title track, “Heartbreak and Hope” impart this benediction: “Thank you for listening/I love you, goodnight.” Inspired by the hope he references, Zach Churchill faces his demons with clear-eyed courage. Across this span of songs, his testimony is offered with transcendent sincerity. “The failed relationships, the loss of people, the search for identity,” he concludes. “It’s all real and it’s my story.”