Oklahoma’s fast-emerging star, Zach Bryan, has surprised fans by releasing two new singles. ‘Fifth of May’ and ‘The Greatest Day of My Life’ both carry Bryan’s signature stripped-back production style, and they continue the artist’s prolific streak of 2022 releases. Bryan's unexpected singles dropped on a day that also saw new releases from Chris Stapleton, Jordan Davis and more.
In a display of trademark accessibility on social media, Bryan replied to fans that were asking for him to release each song with the simple retorts, 'yeah sure' and ‘sure yes’. The releases follow Bryan’s somewhat outspoken remarks about the CMA Awards 2022, in which he underlined that he “will never want to be considered at the CMA’s”.
Given the timing, ‘The Greatest Day of My Life’ could initially be taken by some to be a subtle dig at the awards show and Bryan’s surprising nomination snub. Yet, upon listening, the soft, laid-back track feels devoid of any animosity, and plays simply as a warm celebration of life out on the road.
In recent weeks, Bryan posted videos of him performing the new songs leading followers to eagerly speculate as to when they would be released. ‘The Greatest Day of My Life’ is sure to become a fan-favourite, and serves as a real-time, sonic scrapbook of Bryan’s recent tour-dates. He throws in a timely reference to his now iconic performance in the heavy snow at Red Rocks Amphitheater, Colorado (“Played pool in Colorado after snow all night, it rained in Carolina but we played just fine”).
Sonically, ‘Fifth of May’ is a more upbeat, folk anthem, but lyrically, it provides a shadowy contrast to the brightness of ‘The Greatest Day of My Life’. While ‘The Greatest Day of My Life’ is a tribute to the joys of touring, ‘Fifth of May’ finds Bryan reflecting on a recent heartbreak as he sits “alone in some coastal town”.
Both tracks showcase Bryan’s ability to introduce an unrivalled level of specificity and detail into his music, which enables him to really draw the listener in. The two new tracks follow Bryan’s other recently released singles, ‘Starved’ and ‘Burn, Burn, Burn’. It’s hard to believe that these songs arrive in a year that has already seen Bryan release his American Heartbreak album and his Summertime Blues EP. At this rate, fans could be forgiven for wondering whether more music could be on the way from Zach Bryan before the year is out.
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